The second edition of All Fish Faces is a wonderfully colourful and informative book by Tam Warner Minton. Tam is, by her own admission, no stranger to scientific expeditions and education. Her enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge, encouraging kids to learn about the oceans and care for the amazing marine life beneath the waves is very apparent in this excellent book. She has obviously dedicated a great deal of time, skill and effort in taking and putting together this collection of fish photos and facts to share with and engage our future generations.
The book takes us through some basics of fish biology and ecology with fun facts and moves onto different fish families, with lots of photos and interesting details. The book finishes with some conservation information and positive actions we can all take towards saving our oceans.
Both Mike and I enjoyed browsing this book, but the real test was to see what our nieces, Danica (11), Nadia (9) and Norah (9), thought of it!
Danica – “The pictures were bright and vibrant, very descriptive with interesting facts.“
Nadia – “It was very interesting and I liked all the pictures. I like all the fun facts.”
Norah – “I like the pictures, because they showed what the animals look like. Some of the fish were weird.”
All of our young readers seemed to have enjoyed learning about the fish and found the number of pictures and vibrant colours engaging. Whether this snapshot of the underwater world inspires them to become divers and future conservationists remains to be seen, but they all thank Tam for the opportunity to read her book.
We would certainly recommend this to anyone with kids with an interest in the oceans or who needs a fun and engaging present for a younger family member!
Ebook, hardback and paperback versions of All Fish Faces are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and good bookstores. Copies are also available via Tam’s author email – email@example.com – at $16.99 for the paperback, and $27.99 for the hardcover.
Special Offer for Scubaverse readers:
Quote ‘Scubaverse’ for a special rate of $14.00 for the paperback signed, and $25 for the hardcover signed, excluding shipping.
To find out more about Tam Warner Minton, check out her blog Travels with Tam, detailing her many adventures on all seven continents.
Tips for… Refreshing Skills
A hugely important subject, and one that should be considered by any diver regardless of your training level. Just like anything, sometimes life gets in the way, we get sidetracked and before you know it, it’s been 2 months out of the water. It may not seem like a lot, but we naturally start to forget things when they are not used. We slow down our actions as we are out of practise and have to think a little more in order to retrieve the information to help make decisions.
There’s nothing wrong with this of course, we cannot always be diving! But it is important that we refresh before getting straight back into it. We obviously conduct a lot of refresher courses here at the dive centre, but we are also realistic, knowing that not everyone will want to pay to refresh their skills with an instructor. That’s also fine too, just be sensible.
Our tips for this would be the following; some will likely seem a little common sense… but it’s always good to have a reminder right?!
First off, when getting back to diving, choose a buddy that you usually dive with or someone that has a higher level of competency in diving. This will give you the reassurance in the water and not have to be worrying about the others person whilst getting back into it yourself.
Secondly, choose a site that you know. Don’t be jumping straight in having seen an amazing new site that you want to try out… that can wait for another time. You have already had a break in your actual diving, without having to then also consider navigating and a new dive plan.
Next, try to leave out the brand new equipment. It’s great that getting back into diving you have decided to buy yourself a new drysuit, fins and BCD, but it all might be a little bit much. Let’s concentrate on just getting back into the water and then move onto those new additions. This kind of change can make even the best of divers anxious.
Last but not least, there’s nothing wrong with staying shallow. Our first dive to get back into it, does not need to break our dive depth record. Stay shallow, enjoy the marine life at this depth, and keep the dive nice and easy. Practise those skills if you would like to, make sure you know where all your equipment is positioned and get comfortable. The ocean isn’t going anywhere… there’s always tomorrow to get in for another!
Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support
With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.
The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.
“While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”
There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.
This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.
Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.”
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