‘Rewilding the Sea: How to Save Our Oceans’ by Charles Clover available to pre-order

October 26, 2021 by Blue Marine Foundation


Ebury imprint Witness Books has acquired Rewilding the Sea: How to Save Our Oceans, the new book by author and environmental campaigner Charles Clover.

A follow-up to his 2004 The End of the Line, which won multiple awards and was adapted into an acclaimed documentary, Rewilding the Sea will explore how to let nature itself repair the damage we’ve done to our oceans.

Overfishing is both one of the most devastating environmental problems on Earth and a major contributor to climate change.  Yet the appalling destruction it causes to marine creatures and habitats is solvable, and there is hope to be found in nature-based solutions. Rewilding the Sea shows what happens when you let nature repair the damage: whether overfishing of bluefin tuna across the Atlantic or the destruction of coral gardens by dredgers in Lyme Bay. Furthermore, with the latest science showing that trawling and dredging damage vast areas of our continental shelves and stop them soaking up carbon, marine carbon capture is becoming a vital ingredient in the wider solution to reversing climate catastrophe.  In this urgent yet hopeful work, Charles Clover will show that we can store carbon and have more fish by stepping aside more often and trusting nature.

Published to mark World Oceans Day on 8 June 2022, the book is already being described as a vital contribution to the debate about the fate of our oceans. Isabella Tree, author of Wilding, says ‘This book is desperately needed. Interest in terrestrial rewilding is rocketing and now it is time for the sea. The material Charles Clover will be covering is rich, urgent and fascinating.’ George Monbiot asks, ‘What if our seas became productive again with giant sturgeon, halibut and skate? What if we let the seas soak up carbon from the atmosphere like the peat bogs instead of battering them with trawls and dredges? It’s closer than you think. In fact, as Charles Clover explains, rewilding the sea has already begun.’ Lastly, Stephen Fry says: ‘I doubt any more important book will be published this year. Charles Clover tells (with spirit and style) an alarming and convincing story, yet it is one that offers hope and a way forward for our beleaguered oceans … and us.’

Of his forthcoming book, Clover said: ‘Imagine if the sea had all the species in it that it used to and we had brought back nature within sight of our shores.  Well, that isn’t a pipe dream any more, there are parts of the world where it has already happened or is happening.  All we need to do is follow what is already happening somewhere and believe we can do it.’

Drummond Moir, who acquired UK & Commonwealth Rights for Witness Books from Ivan Mulcahy at MMB Creative, said, ‘There is great optimism about the benefits that rewilding and other nature-based solutions can bring to land; Charles Clover is here to show us that the same thinking can be applied to save our oceans and help us solve the climate crisis. Indeed the very week we signed this up, a ground-breaking Nature paper revealed that fishing boats trawling the ocean floor release as much CO2 as the entire aviation industry. This awakening about the fate and significance of our oceans is only going to continue, and REWILDING THE SEAS will be the perfect book – urgent, yet hopeful – to drive the conversation forward and perhaps even change a few minds.’

Charles Clover is co-founder and executive director of The Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), Britain’s leading ocean protection charity, which is dedicated to restoring the health of our oceans by addressing overfishing. Prior to co-founding the charity, Clover was an environmental journalist writing principally for The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph for which he was Environment Editor for twenty-two years. He has been chosen as national journalist of the year by the British Environment and Media Awards three times. His 2004 The End of the Line: how overfishing is changing the world and what we eat, also published by Ebury, was adapted into an acclaimed documentary, and won the Guild of Food Writers’ Derek Cooper Award for investigative food writing, an Andre Simon award for food writing, and the Zoological Society of London’s BIOSIS award for communicating zoology.

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