REEF Fish Identification
New World Publications has released a waterproof, lightweight travel edition of its highly regarded REEF Fish Identification reference book ($29.95; www.fishid.com). Written by Scuba Diving marine life contributor Ned DeLoach and Paul Humann, the book weighs less than a pound but packs 560 color photographs and details about 281 species of fish in its 132 pages.
Where can divers swim with the world’s most diverse fish and coral species, gawk as a squadron of mantas swoops overhead, poke around World War II wrecks and encounter throngs of whale sharks? In Diving Indonesia’s Bird’s Head Seascape ($35; www.fishid.com), the sequel to their Raja Ampat guide, authors Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock use never-before-published images and maps to show readers where and how to experience the reefs scientists have confirmed to be the planet’s richest.
Pardon British Columbia divers for not bragging about their cold-water paradise to the north: the less they say, the more us warm-water weenies stay away. Not for long. American photographer David Hall’s stunning tribute to BC diving, Beneath Cold Seas ($45; www.beneathcoldseas.com), features breathtaking images of migrating sockeye salmon, giant Pacific octopus, and haunting photos of hooded nudibranchs on kelp. The region’s startling colors are on full display too, in pictures of anemones, sculpin, nudibranchs and shrimp. Lest you think this book is just about his images, Hall includes behind-the-scenes stories on everything from unique night dives in rivers to frisky sea lions.
How can you inspire the next generation to be stewards of the oceans? Get them Angelee Saves the Sea ($18.95; www.angeleesavesthesea.com), underwater photographer Beverly Factor’s story of an angelfish who is determined to save the ocean and its denizens. This 40-page hardcover book is adorned with Factor’s colorful photography and each page delivers a strong message of inspiration, adventure and conservation for its intended audience, kids aged five to 12. Filmmaker Greg MacGillivray says the story “is a wonderful paean of imagination, beauty and adventure, and helps us understand the importance of the ocean to our very soul.”
For three decades photographer Brian Skerry has traveled the planet, capturing the magical realms of the ocean. With Ocean Soul ($50; shop.nationalgeograhic.com) Skerry spotlights marine animals, from some of the largest — Southern right whales in New Zealand, tiger sharks in the Bahamas, whale sharks in Mexico, bluefin tuna in Canada and leatherback turtles in Trinidad — to some of the smallest — sea pens in New Zealand, a scorpion spider crab in Ireland and a translucent shrimp on Kingman reef. Perfect for the underwater photographer on your shopping list not only for the stunning images but for Skerry’s stories on how he got the shots.
Have you ever gone spiny lobster hunting only to be foiled by Panulirus argus time after time? C’mon, you know who you are — hands and tickle sticks in the air. We met Deerfield Beach, Florida, diver and lobster hunter Jim “Chiefy” Mathie at DEMA where he showed us his book Catching the Bug: The Comprehensive Guide to Catching the Spiny Lobster ($20, www.chiefy.net). This large-format book gives detailed tips on everything related to spiny lobsters from how to find the bugs to preparing and eating them for Sunday dinner. In between, you’ll find illustrated lessons on everything you need for successful lobster hunting, from the proper tickle stick technique to how to tag team your hunting expedition with your buddy.