“The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” was awarded a Rachel Carson Book Award (honourable mention) by the U.S. Society of Environmental Journalists.
Judges’ comments: Far more than a monograph about the plight of a single wildlife species, ”The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: An Investigation into the Scapegoating of Canada’s Grey Seal” packs a lot of punch into 192 pages. Pannozzo takes readers deep inside the world of seal hunting while making a case for how government officials have seemingly used the seal as a scapegoat for the collapse of the Atlantic cod fishery when they should have, instead, been looking at the government’s own mismanagement of cod stocks. By blaming seals and proposing large-scale culls, officials have deflected attention away from the more difficult and complex issues of climate change and destructive fishing methods, she argues. The author goes well beyond the obvious with independent research, vivid scene-setting and eloquent writing while questioning the motives of government officials. This tale of a species attempting to make a comeback in the face of adversity is an outstanding examination of the environmental consequences of bureaucratic finger-pointing.