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Sharks are among the most persecuted animals on Earth. Nicole’s block-buster story lifts the lid on the shocking details of the trade in shark fins, and raises awareness of the plight of sharks in the 21st century.
In November 2003 a female Great White Shark was tagged near Dyer Island in South Africa. Her tag popped up in February 2004, just south of Western Australia. The shark, later to be named Nicole (after shark enthusiast Nicole Kidman), had swum an epic 11,000 km. Scientists were even more surprised when she was identified back in South Africa in August 2004 – she had covered 22,000 km in less than nine months, using pinpoint navigation both ways.
Since then, many Great Whites have been tagged and have shown a propensity for undertaking long migrations – but none has yet matched Nicole's amazing feat. This story incorporates a blend of science, actual events and real people, along with conjecture as to what might have happened on Nicole's momentous journey.
Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. We have hunted them for thousands of years and scratched their icons into our mythologies. They simultaneously fill us with waves of terror, awe and affection - yet we know hardly anything about them. Whales tend to only enter our awareness when they die, struck by a ship or stranded in the surf. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-like creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and roam entire ocean basins. Yet despite centuries of observing whales, we know little about their evolutionary past. Palaeontologist Nick Pyenson takes us to the ends of the earth and to the cutting edge of whale research as he searches for the answers to some of our biggest questions about these graceful giants. His rich storytelling takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collection, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert of Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whalebone site on earth. Spying on Whales is an illuminating story of scientific discovery that brings readers closer to the most enigmatic and beloved animals of all time.
Great White sharks, attracted by an offshore seal colony, have brought success to the adjacent fishing village of Gansbaai along the southern African coast. A flourishing shark cage diving industry has sprung up, bringing jobs and money, and so benefiting almost the entire community. Tourists come from far and near to experience the thrill of a real-life brush with the legendary ‘Jaws’. Shark Town, as it has become known, is booming. Then one day, the sharks disappear. Slowly at first, but with gathering momentum, the word spreads: cage diving off Gansbaai can no longer promise the thrill of an encounter. The crowds thin, the boats remain at their moorings, and the once bustling community waits as their livelihoods tail off. Entrepreneurs and scientists alike are baffled.
But it’s not long before shark carcasses start washing up on the beaches. These, together with some coincidental sightings of another apex predator in the vicinity, are the first leads to the possible causes and culprits. Against the clamour and thrill of the cage-diving season in full swing, Richard Peirce visits the unfolding drama and explores what’s behind these strange events.
A tale of obsession and very big fish from Jeremy Wade, the presenter of ITV's RIVER MONSTERS. Over ten feet long, it weighs in at nearly a quarter of a ton. Covering its back are armoured plates made of bone. Five hundred stiletto-sharp teeth line its long crocodilian jaws. It's a prehistoric beast of staggering proportions; a fearsome creature from the time of the dinosaurs. But the Alligator Gar, an air-breathing survivor from the Cretaceous period is still with us today, patrolling inland rivers, hunting in murky waters shared by human communities. And for Jeremy Wade, described as the 'greatest angling explorer of his generation', the Gar and other outlandish freshwater predators have been an obsession for all his adult life. With names like Arapaima, Snakehead, Goonch, Goliath Tigerfish and Electric Eel, many of them have acquired an almost mythical status. In a quest that has taken him from the Amazon to the Congo, and from North America to the mountains of India, Wade has pursued the truth about these little known, often misunderstood animals. Along the way he's survived a plane crash, malaria and a fish-inflicted blow to the chest that, according to a later scan, caused permanent scarring to his heart. In RIVER MONSTERS, Wade delivers a sometimes jaw-dropping blend of adventure, natural history, legend and detective work. It reads like a hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. But it's all true. These are fisherman's tales like you've never heard before. The stories of the ones that didn't get away ...
For many people, seashells are just part of the beach scenery--thousands of pretty but nameless objects strewn along the shore. Other people know the names of shells but often wonder how they were formed and what type of animal lived inside. Such incidental knowledge may not seem important, but it can encourage people to observe their environment more closely and to gain a better understanding of it. As a result, they may become better fishers, more informed teachers or more conscientious stewards of our coast. To this end, the seashell guide was produced. Many collectors get started when they find an intriguing shell, perhaps after a storm, and search for it in a guide. Others, by chance, meet an experienced sheller on the beach. Talking with a collector passionate about shells is likely to spark an interest in anyone who has spent time at the coast. A walk down the beach is never the same once you begin to recognize a few shells. Gradually, you learn to use certain marks to solve the puzzle of shell identification. The walk becomes more satisfying as you recognize familiar shells like old friends, and it becomes more exciting as you look for new ones.
In "Shell Games," journalist Craig Welch delves into our nation's waters and wildlands in search of America's most unusual criminals. The resulting detective story is filled with butterfly thieves, bear poachers, shark-trafficking pastors--and a rogues' gallery of double-crossing crooks who get rich smuggling bizarre marine creatures.
Puget Sound is home to the geoduck (pronounced "gooey duck"), the world's largest burrowing clam--a seafood delicacy worth millions on the international black market. Outlaw scuba divers pursue this prize while dodging cops, committing arson, and hiring hit men to eliminate their rivals. Detective Ed Volz has spent decades chasing fish and wildlife smugglers. Now, he and a team of federal agents are desperate to take down the most remarkable thief they've ever hunted: a darkly charming con man who works both sides of the law and calls himself the "Geoduck Gotti."
"Henry David Thoreau wrote, 'Who hears the fishes when they cry?' Maybe we need to go down to the river bank and try to listen." In what he says is the most important piece of environmental writing in his long and award-winning career, Mark Kurlansky, best-selling author of Salt and Cod, The Big Oyster, 1968, and Milk, among many others, employs his signature multi-century storytelling and compelling attention to detail to chronicle the harrowing yet awe-inspiring life cycle of salmon. During his research Kurlansky traveled widely and observed salmon and those who both pursue and protect them in the Pacific and the Atlantic, in Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Japan, and even the robust but not as frequently visited Kamchatka Peninsula. This world tour reveals an eras-long history of man's misdirected attempts to manipulate salmon and its environments for his own benefit and gain, whether for entertainment or to harvest food. In addition, Kurlansky's research shows that all over the world these fish, uniquely connected to both marine and terrestrial ecology as well as fresh and salt water, are a natural barometer for the health of the planet. He documents that for centuries man's greatest assaults on nature, from overfishing to dams, from hatcheries to fish farms, from industrial pollution to the ravages of climate change, are evidenced in the sensitive life cycle of salmon. With stunning historical and contemporary photographs and illustrations throughout, Kurlansky's insightful conclusion is that the only way to save salmon is to save the planet and, at the same time, the only way to save the planet is to save the mighty, heroic salmon.
Your Informative (and Entertaining!) Guide to Fly Fishing Fly fishing is a wonderful and thrilling way to catch fish-and it isn't as complicated as you might think. More and more people are using this intriguing method to catch trout, bluegill, sailfish, and more. You can count yourself among them. It just takes the right equipment, a little bit of know-how, and some practice. If you've never tried because you heard it's "too hard," then you are missing out! Ignore the doubters and the naysayers. In Thrasher's Fly Fishing Guide, expert angler Susan Thrasher provides all the information you need to get you on the water and fly fishing with success. Thrasher begins with the basics, introducing terminology and recommending equipment to get you going. She delves into various techniques and further touches upon everything from taking a guided trip to winter fishing. Along the way, she includes personal stories and anecdotes sure to entertain and encourage. As you continue further into this essential guide, you'll gain more advanced knowledge, such as how to select the best fly line and fly rod for different fishing situations, how to identify the fish that you catch, and even proper etiquette while fishing. Whether you've never hooked a fish or have spent your whole life filling a basket with fresh catch, Thrasher's Fly Fishing Guide is your all-in-one resource on fly fishing. You'll enjoy Thrasher's engaging writing style, and you'll appreciate her step-by-step approach that can take you from "never tried" to "let's go again tomorrow!"
Sasol First Field Guide to Sharks, Whales and Dolphins of Southern Africa provides fascinating insight into the sea creatures of the region. With the help of full-colour photographs or illustrations, distribution maps, and easy-to-read text, the young adult and budding naturalist will be able to identify the more common shark, whale and dolphin species found in southern Africa, discover where they live, and learn about their unique feeding and breeding habits.
When the famous South African fish scientist Professor JLB Smith published Old Fourlegs - The Story of the Coelacanth in 1956 he created an international sensation. After all, this 400-million-year-old fish, known only from fossil remains, was thought to have become extinct around 66 million years ago! JLB Smith’s dramatic account of the discovery of the first and second coelacanths in 1938 and 1952 turned him into a cult figure and put South African science on the world map. His book was eventually published in six English editions and translated into nine foreign languages.
Mike Bruton’s The Annotated Old Fourlegs includes a facsimile reprint of the original book, to which he has added notes and images in the margins that provide an interesting and revealing commentary on Smith’s text, as well as new introductory and explanatory chapters that bring the coelacanth story up to date.
The waters that surround Seychelles are home to over 1,000 species of fish and 300 species of coral. The islands are visited by giant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays, and are home to the critically endangered Hawksbill and Green Turtles. Its warm tropical waters and coral reefs teeming with fish mean that Seychelles is a popular diving destination. This lavishly illustrated book showcases the extraordinary marine environment of Seychelles' islands. The diverse marine habitats, including coral reefs, granite seascapes, mangroves and seagrass beds, are home to vibrant communities of marine fauna and flora. Underwater Eden encapsulates the wonder of Seychelles' seas and highlights the creatures that call them home. With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly apparent throughout the world's oceans, the authors' stunning photographs capture the beauty of Seychelles waters while they are still vibrant and relatively undisturbed. Chapters on ecosystems, turtles, fishes, Marine Protected Areas and conservation describe and illustrate the marvels of this underwater world.
There are few species that strike such fear into humans as the Great White shark. And yet this fearsome predator is also greatly threatened by human activity. Moreover, its seemingly random attacks can be shown to follow quite definite and understandable patterns of behaviour. Based on years of observing and studying Great Whites, White Sharks is an original contribution towards understanding the behaviour and habits of this much-feared and greatly misunderstood species. Illustrated throughout with magnificent images of White sharks, often in spectacular aerial breaches, this book is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the health of our marine environment and understanding White shark behaviour.
The billfish is fixed at the apex of the oceanic food chain. Composed of sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and swordfish, they roam the pelagic waters of the Atlantic and are easily recognized by their long, spear-like beaks. Noted for their speed, size, and acrobatic jumps, billfish have for centuries inspired a broad spectrum of society. Even in antiquity, Aristotle, who assiduously studied the swordfish, named this gladiator of the sea xiphias - the sword. The Billfish Story tells the saga of this unique group of fish and those who have formed bonds with them - relationships forged by anglers, biologists, charter-boat captains, and conservationists through their pursuit, study, and protection of these species. More than simply reciting important discoveries, Stan Ulanski argues passionately that billfish occupy a position of unique importance in our culture as a nexus linking natural and human history. Ulanski, both a scientist and an angler, brings a rich background to the subject in a multifaceted approach that will enrich not only readers appreciation of billfish but the whole of the natural world.
Fisherman Mark Spitzer takes readers on an action-packed investigation of the most fierce and fearsome freshwater grotesques of the American West ever to inspire both hatred and fascination. Through the lenses of history, folklore, biology, ecology, and politics, Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West depicts the environmental destruction plaguing the most maligned creatures in our midst while subtly interweaving Spitzer's experiences of personal tragedy and self-discovery. Join Spitzer as he noodles for flathead catfish in Oklahoma, snags paddlefish in Missouri, trotline- and electro-fishes American eels in Arkansas, studies razorback suckers in Arizona, bounty hunts for pikeminnows in Washington State, attends a burbot festival in Utah, stirs up Asian carp in Kansas, and breaks the state record for the largest yellow bullhead ever caught in Nebraska. By examining freakish links in a vital chain and working with specialists in the field, Spitzer portrays a planet in environmental crisis and dispels the illusion that our actions don't result in long-term, toxic consequences. Spitzer offers models for fisheries and provides other sources of hope in this informative epic of redemption that ultimately celebrates the wild and resilient beauty and remaining possibilities of the American West. Watch a book trailer. Visit the Where in the West is Mark Spitzer? blog series for additional reading and a look at more photographs not included in the book.
The British beach is full of creatures that we think we know - from crabs to clams, starfish to anemones. But, in fact, we barely understand how many survive or thrive. In Rock Pool the delights of childhood paddling are elevated to oceanic discoveries, as the fragile beauty and drama of intertidal existence is illustrated through the incredible lives of twenty-four individual creatures. Rock Pool is the eye-opening account of a life-long passion by a talented writer and naturalist.
These natural history guides have been developed in the hope that young people and anyone with a budding interest in natural history will take up the challenge to learn the secrets of southern Africa's fascinating fauna and flora.
These little guides are an invaluable resource for the beginner, providing information at a glance through superb photographs, maps and easy-to-read text.
Learn tips and tricks for all new flies sure to catch carp! Carp are one of the most widely distributed and abundant fish in North America. Their prodigious size and habit of finning in shallow water make them appear to be easy fly-fishing targets. In reality, most anglers quickly discover that they are extremely difficult to hook on a fly. It takes years to discover how to catch them consistently. The reason? Carp can be very selective about what flies they will take. This book will help to short-circuit that learning curve. Carp's selectivity can be boiled down to diet. Understanding what they are eating allows the angler to choose and tie a fly that will produce. The Orvis Beginner's Guide to Carp Flies walks the flyfisherman through the steps of identifying the most likely food source, illustrating the best patterns that imitate that food, and discussing how to effectively present those flies. With detailed information on tying all of the important carp flies, this book eliminates months of trial and error in your fly selection. Skyhorse Publishing is proud to publish a broad range of books for fishermen. Our books for anglers include titles that focus on fly fishing, bait fishing, fly-casting, spin casting, deep sea fishing, and surf fishing. Our books offer both practical advice on tackle, techniques, knots, and more, as well as lyrical prose on fishing for bass, trout, salmon, crappie, baitfish, catfish, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Detailed guide to 34 species of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and otters in the region.
"You have just got to love a colorful, large-format encyclopedia
on sharks, and this is one of the best."
"An up-to-date encyclopedia of the world's most ancient predators."
"The Encyclopedia of Sharks" is a richly illustrated and fact-filled reference on all the world's species of sharks. The author debunks the fearful myths and fierce legends, providing straightforward facts and the latest research on sharks. More than 200 striking photographs show sharks in their natural habitats. Detailed drawings illustrate the anatomical features unique to sharks, such as their fearsome but short-lived teeth.
The book includes authoritative and updated information on: Evolution and design of the shark Classifications and orders Understanding the shark The life of the shark -- how it feeds, breeds and migrates Shark "supersense" -- how it survives in the aquatic environment The need for protection and conservation -- how sharks are now endangered by over fishing and "finning."
Also included is a 50-page comprehensive, all-color section featuring and explaining the world's most important breeds.
Through its lively text, spectacular photography, and charts, maps and illustrations, "The Encyclopedia of Sharks" will encourage an understanding of these complex creatures.
The Reef Guide documents some 800 reef fishes and invertebrates found along the east and south coasts of southern Africa.
Following on the success of Dennis King’s earlier two titles, this impressive new guide features 578 species of fish and includes sections on anemones, starfish, snails, crabs and shrimps.
Full-colour photographs and descriptive text for each species, along with useful and interesting information, make for easy identification. While focusing on southern Africa, the book is also applicable to the entire east coast of Africa, as well as the islands of the western Indian Ocean – Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, the Comoros and the Maldives.
Indispensable for divers, snorkelers and rock-pool enthusiasts, as well as fishermen and marine aquarists.
Illuminating the conditions for global governance to have precipitated the devastating decline of one of the ocean's most majestic creatures The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is the world's foremost organization for managing and conserving tunas, seabirds, turtles, and sharks traversing international waters. Founded by treaty in 1969, ICCAT stewards what has become under its tenure one of the planet's most prominent endangered fish: the Atlantic bluefin tuna. Called "red gold" by industry insiders for the exorbitant price her ruby-colored flesh commands in the sushi economy, the giant bluefin tuna has crashed in size and number under ICCAT's custodianship. With regulations to conserve these sea creatures in place for half a century, why have so many big bluefin tuna vanished from the Atlantic? In Red Gold, Jennifer E. Telesca offers unparalleled access to ICCAT to show that the institution has faithfully executed the task assigned it by international law: to fish as hard as possible to grow national economies. ICCAT manages the bluefin not to protect them but to secure export markets for commodity empires-and, as a result, has become complicit in their extermination. The decades of regulating fish as commodities have had disastrous consequences. Amid the mass extinction of all kinds of life today, Red Gold reacquaints the reader with the splendors of the giant bluefin tuna through vignettes that defy technoscientific and market rationales. Ultimately, this book shows, changing the way people value marine life must come not only from reforming ICCAT but from transforming the dominant culture that consents to this slaughter.
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