This is a finely crafted book. McKenzie moves deftly between anecdotal and quantitative evidence, historiographical and ecological contextual information, and cogent interpretation, driving his chronological narrative toward convincing ends. Above all, he is honest. In the few places where evidence is limited, McKenzie makes it transparent, which adds credibility to all his claims. One of the first books to focus specifically on bait and bait fishers, Clearing the Coastline merits a prominent place among histories of the sea.