| Ret Talbot is an award-winning journalist with over two decades 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 and not-so-commonplace ideas and issues.
A graduate of the writing programs at both Wheaton College (MA) and the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), 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 front 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 current work focuses largely on marine ecosystems and the myriad interactions between humans and those ecosystems. From the artisanal fisheries of the developing island nations of the Pacific to the heavily politicized commercial fisheries of Hawaii and the Gulf of Maine, Talbot spends much of his time interviewing fishers, fisheries managers, politicians, scientists, environmentalists, and other stakeholders about fisheries issues at the intersection of sustainablity and science. Recently he collaborated with shark biologist Greg Skomal to cover the return of the white shark to the western North Atlantic in the book Chasing Shadows.
His data-centered reporting on the seafood industry attempts to lift the curtain on a trade that often lacks transparency, is plagued by fraud and is too often entangled with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries. From human rights abuses in seafood supply chains to illegal trade, his articles shine a spotlight on issues of which few seafood consumers are aware. At the same time, he is a tenacious advocate for working waterfronts and truly sustainable fisheries that benefit both the resource and shoreside communities, and he frequently reports on the vital role chefs are playing in educating seafood consumers. Because aquaculture will increasingly play a central role in global food security, Talbot covers advances in fish farming technology, and he is particularly interested in the emerging domestic sea vegetable (e.g., seaweed) market. His seafood articles can be found in industry publications like The Fish Site, as well as general interest publications such as Discover Magazine and Mongabay.
Talbot's reporting on marine aquarium fisheries have earned him praise as a data-centered voice of reason, as well as a hard-hitting investigative journalist. His articles on the subject can be found in a variety of publications ranging from trade publications like CORAL Magazine to general interest outlets like National Geographic and Discover. His aquarium-related books include Banggai Cardinalfish (September 2013), which takes a deep dive into a troubled trade, while embedded with a team of scientists searching for the origins of a mysterious virus in the shallow waters off Sulawesi, Indonesia. He was a senior editor at Coral Magazine, where he worked 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 explored the marine aquarium fishery as a microcosm for the complexities of international trade, socio-economic development and environmental conservation.
Ret and his wife Karen Talbot, an artist and scientific illustrator known for her work with fishes, live on the coast of Maine. They frequently collaborate on projects and love to invite guests into their home-based gallery and studio in Rockland, Maine.