The Last Fisherman

Witness to the Endangered Oceans

By Jeffrey L. Rotman, Yair Harel

Release Date
Format Hardcover 276 pages 10 x 10 inches 200 color photographs
ISBN-13 978-0-78921-191-0 SKU 1042605

With breathtaking images and compelling stories, an underwater photographer chronicles the glory, and devastation, of our changing oceans.

Rotman’s passion for photographing marine life took a dramatic turn when he found a pile of sharks at the bottom of the sea stripped of their fins and left to die by rogue fisherman. The Last Fisherman documents the catastrophic changes in ocean wildlife and the people whose lives depend on hunting it.When author Jeff Rotman began his adventures as an underwater photographer more than 40 years ago, he relished the beauty of the deep sea and the thrill of the hunt. A member of an elite group of photographers, he has captured iconic photographs of sharks and other creatures of the deep that can be seen in National Geographic as well as the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week television series.

Rotman has witnessed the near commercial collapse of cod fisheries in the North Atlantic and the growth of illegal poaching in the protected waters of Cocos Island which threatens this fragile ecosystem long admired by divers for the shark and ray populations. His journey mirrors our view of the oceans as places of wonder, to the fragile hunting grounds they are today. In his introduction, marine biologist Les Kaufman discusses how the “emptying out of the oceans” has progressed over time. But he also includes stories of hope as scientists, fisherman—and observers like Jeff Rotman—come to agree that the time is now for a new approach to the most fundamental of human activities, finding sustenance in the water around us.



Rotman's photographs capture the beautiful and often strange creatures that live under the sea. ... striking, sometimes shocking images of what lies beneath the ripple of the sea. ... He captures here a truly strange and mesmerizing world — plus the power and fragility of nature. ... There also are the beauty and the ugliness. ... Wow.  Chicago Tribune

Rotman...transform[s] information about the catastrophic changes in the ocean into a poignant personal narrative ... This book is not only a treasure to be cherished by nature enthusiasts but also an intriguing resource that ought to make its way into science classrooms.  Publisher's Weekly

Among fellow photographers, naturalists and divers, Jeffrey L. Rotman is regarded with awe, so difficult is his specialty, so great his mastery of it.  The Observer, London

Jeff Rotman's images and words reveal our ocean ecosystems in collapse as one fish species after another is decimated. What is at stake is nothing less that our planet's very life support system. — Howard Hall, filmmaker, Island of the Sharks 

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