Cross-posted from Gilt Taste. On a bright morning in May, a calm Chesapeake Bay glitters in the sun, an expanse of blue, the nation's largest and once most productive estuary. A sudden commotion shatters the serenity: Dozens of gulls swoop toward the 135-foot ship Reedville, and the water beneath the boat begins to churn and froth. With two smaller boats at its side, the Reedville encloses a school of fish in a stiff black purse seine net. With practiced efficiency, workers onboard hoist a vacuum pump into the net and suck tens of thousands of small silvery fish out of …
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Randy Fertel is cofounder of the Ridenhour Prizes for Courageous Truth-Telling, cosponsored by the Nation Institute and awarded every spring at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. His book, The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir, is forthcoming from the University Press of Mississippi.