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Sharks of the World, A Complete Guide

David A. Ebert, Marc Dando, and Sarah Fowler
Princeton University Press and Wild Nature Press; Illustrated edition (22 June 2021)
Hardcover with 2000+ colour illustrations, photos, maps, and diagrams, 608 pages
Dimensions: ‎ 23.11 x 3.81 x 21.84 cm
ISBN-13 9780691205991
Kindle : B093Y2BYF2

A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World

Second Edition
David A. Ebert, Marc Dando, and Sarah Fowler
Princeton University Press and Wild Nature Press; 2nd edition (29 June 2021)
Paperback, ‎ 288 pages
Dimensions: ‎ 12.95 x 2.29 x 19.81 cm
ISBN-13‎ 978-0691218748

Diagram, text

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Aside from watching the movie Jaws, my personal encounters with sharks have been limited to watching basking sharks off the coast of Ireland, catching dogfish sharks in lobster pots, seeing fins swim past the US East Coast beaches, and seeing my husband dive down in Belize to catch a shark by the tail and shake it awake while snorkelling. That was shortly after we were married, and I thought I’d be widowed soon. Little did I know that it was a nurse shark and harmless. I had been looking forward to studying up on sharks and gaining new respect for these magnificent creatures.

This most comprehensive reference guide to sharks covers 536 of the world's known shark species, many of which have only recently been described. Who knew there were so many unusual shapes and sizes in this biodiverse Chondrichthyes (from the Greek ‘chondros’: cartilage and ‘ichthos’: fish) class of cartilaginous fish? The first edition appeared in 2013. The new edition, at a hefty 608 pages, is now fully revised and updated, and packed with colour illustrations, colour photos and informative diagrams. The authors are two scientists and an exceptional nature illustrator. There is a colour distribution map for every species. It is a massively impressive work.

Sharks are some of the most misunderstood and maligned animals in the world. Many of these animals, about which we still know so little, are seriously threatened with extinction and among the vertebrates most in need of protection and management. These animals first appeared more than 400 million years ago and have since adopted numerous habitats and reproductive strategies. Yet, many species have been unable to withstand the pressures exerted by their primary natural enemy – modern man and his ocean hoovering machines. This book examines what is known about the biology, ecology, and threats to sharks.

Together with its companion, A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World, also in its second edition, these two reference books make a wonderful resource for anyone with an interest in these magnificent creatures. The Pocket Guide would be suitable to have onboard a yacht that is cruising the waters of the world. Snorkelers and divers would benefit from it tremendously as it is very easy to use. This is the only field guide to identify, illustrate and describe every known species of shark.

The Complete Guide also contains special sections on identification of shark teeth and shark fins that are most commonly found in the shark trade. It was good to read that shark finning (catching sharks, cutting off their fins, and throwing them back into the sea to die) is now banned in more than 40 countries, including the largest shark fisheries. It is such a cruel practice. Depletion of shark populations is far more likely than bony fishes because sharks are slower to reproduce and produce a small number of large young. For this reason, shark fisheries need to be managed but the majority remain unmanaged or managed only to the standards for rapidly reproducing bony fish.

Almost 80% of known shark species have been reported as bycatch of large-scale commercial fisheries. Anyone who has encountered these giant trawlers at sea would comprehend the scale of loss. There is no market for many of the sharks caught in the trawls, so the dead fish are just discarded at sea. Of course, sharks also present as bycatch on longlines, in gillnets and purse seines. Longlining is the least destructive pelagic fishing technique, which targets tuna and billfish but will often catch valuable shark species, like Mako, that can be sold as food or caught and released. It is almost impossible to release fish caught by the other methods.

There is much to be done to protect endangered shark populations. At least we can inform ourselves of the true nature of the situation and what we can do to assist and spread the honest word. Sharks of the World is the essential illustrated guide for the shark enthusiast.


Sharks of the World, A Complete Guide




A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World




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