Fish have been a lifelong obsession for Richard Shelton. As a boy in the 1940s, he was fascinated by what he found in the streams near his Buckinghamshire home. But it was the sea and the creatures living in it and by it which were to become his passion. The Longshoreman follows the author from stream to river, from pond to lake and loch, from shore to deep sea, on a journey from childhood to an adulthood spent in boats in conditions fair and foul. Along the way, this wonderful book introduces us to strange characters and the intimate habits of lobsters; it also explains what it's like to be a lantern fish; how some fish commute between the surface and the darkest depths, when the laws of physics say they should be crushed to death; and the fate of the wild salmon, that heroic fish whose future is now imperilled by its farmed relatives.
Richard Shelton headed the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory at Pitlochry from 1982 to 2001, and was Research Director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust. The Longshoreman was his first book and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.