Catching Thunder

The Story of the World’s Longest Sea Chase

Eskil Engdal and Kjetil Sæter

Catching Thunder

Eskil Engdal and Kjetil Sæter

Distributed for Zed Books

Translated by Diane Oatley
400 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2018
Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9781786990877 Published March 2018 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
December, 2014: In the forbidding waters off Antarctica, Captain Hammarstedt of the Bob Barker embarks on a voyage unlike any seen before. Across ten thousand miles of hazardous seas, Hammarstedt’s crew will relentlessly pursue the Thunder—an infamous illegal fishing ship—for what will become the longest chase in maritime history.
 
Wanted by Interpol, the Thunder has for years evaded justice: accumulating millions in profits, hunting endangered species and ruthlessly destroying ocean habitats. The authors follow this incredible expedition from the beginning. But even as seasoned journalists, they cannot anticipate what the chase will uncover, as the wake of the Thunder leads them to trail of criminal kingpins, rampant corruption, modern slavery, and an international community content to turn a blind eye. Very soon, apprehending Thunder becomes more than a chase but a pursuit of the truth itself and a symbolic race to preserve the well-being of our planet. A Scandinavian best-seller, Catching Thunder is a remarkable true story of courage and perseverance, and a wake-up call to act against the destruction of our environments.
Review Quotes
Foreword Reviews
“Delivers a true story that reads like a spy novel, peppered with scary organized crime villains, charismatic environmental activists and Interpol agents, and enough tidbits about sailing treacherous seas, commercial fishing, and endangered species to satisfy the most dedicated nautical adventure fan.”
Spectator
“An uproarious adventure. . . . The book’s short chapters read like urgent frontline bulletins.”
National Geographic Traveller
“A clarion call for those who want to save our seas.”
Post Magazine
Catching Thunder is about more than just the pursuit of one ship, however. Its main focus is the years-long efforts to track these vessels and their mysterious owners on both sea and land. Beyond attempts to bring the ships’ owners to justice, the book explores the challenges involved in trying to police international waters far from populated areas.”
Sydney Morning Herald
“This is a modern pirate story, but the plunder isn't pieces of eight—it's the Patagonian Toothfish, as valuable as narcotics. The pirate ship, the eponymous Thunder, was one of a number specialising in the illegal, million-dollar trawling of endangered species.”
South China Morning Post
“The authors take readers on a journey as they seek to come face-to-face with those profiting from poaching, and realize the challenges involved in bringing them to justice. . . . Engdal and Sæter track down players on both sides, telling the story from all angles. We get the experiences of the environmental­ists, the officers on the fishing vessels, the Indonesian crews, and even of those involved in the operations on land.”
Maritime Executive
“A sensational new book.”
Luke Harding, Guardian journalist and author of The Snowden Files
“Engdal and Sæter are to journalism what Jagger and Richards are to rock and roll—sexy, irreverent, and brilliant.”
Peter Heller, author of The Whale Warriors and Celine
“This is the story of our time: the blind destruction of the oceans and our ecosphere, and the actions of those with the courage to stand up and confront it.”
Tony Long, CEO, Global Fishing Watch
“The pursuit of the Thunder has become celebrated folklore by those of us fighting to protect our oceans. This is a captivating story, one which highlights the weaknesses in the global system but also, ultimately, gives us hope.”
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