Banggai Cardinalfish Adventures with Journalist Ret Talbot
The Banggai cardinalfish is a small, beautiful marine aquarium fish that was discovered twice, rose quickly in popularity, but now has an uncertain future. What do we know about this fish and what can be done to save it?
My guest today, Ret Talbot, is an award-winning writer and photojournalist with nearly 20 years of experience covering stories from exotic locales including Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Ret frequently reports on the marine aquarium trade, has co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saltwater Aquariums and is a senior editor at CORAL Magazine. Most recently, Talbot served as the embedded journalist with the interdisciplinary expedition to Indonesia. Join us, as Ret discusses the plight of the banggai cardinalfish.
Ret Talbot is an award-winning writer and photojournalist with nearly 20 years of experience covering stories from some of the more remote corners of the globe. From the icy summits of the Andes to the reefs of Papua New Guinea, his assignments have taken him off the beaten track and put his readers face-to-face with stories of adventure, new ideas and innovative approaches to commonplace issues.
A graduate of the prestigious writing programs at both Wheaton College and the University of St. Andrews, Talbot launched his career balancing work as a mountaineering and fly-fishing guide, freelance writer and English teacher. His articles appeared in publications such as Outdoor Sports, Rock & Ice, Fly Fisherman, Shallow Water Angler, and American Whitewater. While not in a river, on a glacier or at the head of a classroom, Talbot traveled extensively lecturing on his own expeditions to places like North Africa, Alaska, Norway, Ecuador, and Peru.
Since 2007, Talbot has worked as a fulltime freelance writer and photographer, penning stories for magazines and working on book-length projects. His most recent work has focused on marine ecosystems and the myriad interactions between humans and those ecosystems. From the artisanal fisheries of Pacific Islanders to the heavily politicized commercial fisheries of Hawaii, Talbot has spent much of the last year interviewing fishermen, politicians, scientists, environmentalists, and other fisheries stakeholders about the concept of sustainability.
Talbot frequently reports on the marine aquarium trade, and his articles can be found in a variety of trade publications. His aquarium-related books include The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saltwater Aquariums (September 2009). He is a senior editor at CORAL Magazine, where he is currently working on a multi-year series of articles focused on sustainability and marine aquarium fisheries. Reporting from places as disparate as remote island nations across the Indo-Pacific and the massive import and wholesale facilities at Los Angeles International Airport, Talbot's series of articles in CORAL have established the marine aquarium fishery as a microcosm for the complexities of international trade, socio-economic development and environmental conservation.
Most recently, Talbot served as the embedded journalist with the interdisciplinary expedition to the Banggai Islands in Indonesia. His main focus areas are the history of the species and factors that will ensure it has a sustainable future in the aquarium trade.
Ret and his wife Karen, an artist known for her fish paintings, split their time between Laguna Beach, California and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.