The Cod Hunters by John Goodlad

180628 john goodlad cod hunters

A story about ordinary people who did extraordinary things.


This is a book about the Shetlanders who fished for cod around Faroe, Iceland and Greenland during the nineteenth century. But it is no dry history of boats and fish – it is a story about ordinary people who did extraordinary things.


It is also much more than a book about Shetland and Shetlanders. The geographical scope is extensive: from the remote fjords of west Greenland to the elegant dining tables of London, from the fishing banks off Faroe to the best restaurants in the Basque country, from the taverns of Torshavn to the prison cells of Lerwick.


The stories of some very interesting people are told. What do a retired railway worker in New York, an embittered Fishery Officer in Lerwick, a bankrupt banker, the daughter of the famous explorer David Livingston and a Faroese Prime Minister have in common? They were all in some way involved in the story of the Shetland cod hunters.


Many Fish on Friday readers will know the author. John Goodlad has worked in the Shetland seafood industry all his working life – in many prominent roles. Amongst other things he is now a seafood adviser to the Fishmongers’ Company.


The Cod Hunters is published by the Shetland Amenity Trust and is available from the publishers’ website, Amazon and selected bookshops.

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