Disputes over tuna fishing have perhaps attracted more attention than any other maritime issue in the Western Hemisphere. Thomas Wolff traces the history of the modernization and expansion of the southern California tuna industry and its clashes with Latin American nationalists. Since World War II, Latin American nations that have wanted to increase their own Pacific tuna catches have found themselves matched against the multinational giants like Ralston Purina and Star-Kist. To date, the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, bilateral agreements, and multilateral negotiations have all failed to produce a hemispheric consensus on matters such as conservation, fishing quotas, and foreign fishing rights in the extended maritime jurisdictions. Mr. Wolff’s book summarizes the issues and the diplomatic highlights of this continuing struggle.

Unfortunately, the author’s sympathies for the heroic efforts of the southern California tuna magnates have caused him to slight some of the more significant scholarly issues. He uses few Latin American sources, gives short shrift to the evolution and rationale of Latin American legal arguments, and generally ignores the domestic political contexts of some of the disputes. He does not analyze fully the relationship among profits, costs, marketing decisions, and the activities of foreign subsidiaries of the California corporations. In fairness, Wolff touches on many of these issues, but does not probe them in depth. The lack of an index may discourage some readers from joining the author in his quest for the elusive tuna fish.”