Beneath the Surface - Tales of a Sailing Marine Biologist
A watery world full of rainbow-coloured animals and bizarre-shaped formations with waving fingers reaching towards the surface. Occasionally, a large creature glides by or a strange head appears from a coral cavern. Bubbles tinkle up to a silvery ceiling above. Every diver remembers the first time he or she plunged beneath the surface; just as everyone remembers their fascination when they first peered into a rock pool as a child. The author, Michael King, is a marine biologist, diver, beachcomber and sailor but not necessarily in that order. In Beneath the Surface he tells exciting stories of sailing and adventure on tropical islands and provides fascinating information about sea-life and ocean systems. The sea supports more plants than the land and possibly the most abundant of all the Earth's larger animals. The world's fastest animal and highest mountain are found in the sea. Excluding micro-organisms, the total number of species in the world has been estimated at about 8.7 million, give or take a million or so, and about a quarter of these live in the oceans. However, it is estimated that over 90% of species in the ocean are yet to be discovered and described. Beneath the Surface is a book that answers many questions. What is the largest fish in the sea? Why do sea currents circulate clockwise in one hemisphere and anticlockwise in the other? Which sea creature is used for the production of Royal Tyrian purple? What causes "phosphorescence" in the sea? Why should you never order shark-fin soup? What is ciguatera fish poisoning? What is the Pacific Ring of Fire and what is the Pacific Plastic Soup? Which marine animals can "feed" from sunlight? Why do many marine species change sex? Which plant with a marine connection has the largest of all seeds? And perhaps most topically and of much concern - Why is seafood becoming more and more expensive? On a less technical level, the author warns of the risks of sleeping in a motorbike sidecar and using a spear gun to catch mahi-mahi. He describes the worst seafood meal he has ever had, sailing through floating rocks and making an illegal stop on a small South Pacific island - an event that nearly caused a war. In Samoa, he describes working with David Attenborough to film a most unlikely creature. Dr King is a well-known specialist in fisheries development and management and has worked in many countries around the world from the Persian Gulf to Polynesia. He is a past lecturer at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji and an Associate Director at the Australian Maritime College.
- Paperback | 262 pages
- 175.26 x 251.46 x 17.78mm | 113.4g
- 18 Feb 2015
- Zeus Publications
- Burleigh M.D.C., QLD, Australia
- black & white illustrations