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Nature Marine Life

A Field Guide to Seashells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest

by (author) Rick M. Harbo

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Feb 2009
Marine Life, Oceans & Seas
  • Pamphlet

    Publish Date
    Feb 2009
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: k


There are few more enjoyable ways to spend a relaxing afternoon than at the seashore collecting ornate seashells. But there is no need to fly away to some exotic tropical locale to begin the fun. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, you will find local beaches as rich in fascinating treasures as any place on earth--or at least you will once you have this handy eight-fold guide to show you where to look and how to identify what you find. Those whose interest in shellfish is mainly gastronomic will also find this waterproof guide an essential tool.

About the author

Rick M. Harbo, BSc, is the author of the bestselling Tidepool and Reef (Big Country Books, 1980), Shells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest (Harbour Publishing, 1997), Pacific Reef and Shore (Harbour Publishing, 2017) and the award-winning Whelks to Whales (Harbour Publishing, 2011). Harbo is a diver and a retired senior marine biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He currently volunteers as a research associate with the Royal BC Museum. Harbo lives in Nanaimo, BC.

Rick M. Harbo's profile page


  • Commended, A Best Book for Kids & Teens selection

Librarian Reviews

A Field Guide to Seashells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest

This water-proof pamphlet is chock full of information about some of the most common shellfish of the Pacific Northwest. Written by a marine biologist, this guide begins with an intriguing quiz: What shellfish lives 100+ years? Who drills those holes in clam shells? What shellfish have a series of jewel-like eyes? The pamphlet is divided into sections: Bivalves, Univalves and Other Shells. Detailed colour photographs are interspersed with fact boxes. Edible shellfish are indicated with a symbol. First Nations peoples use of shells and shellfish is discussed. The pamphlet ends with a “Did You Know?” page.

Harbo is the author of Tidepool and Reef.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

A Field Guide to Seashells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest

“By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea / You and me, you and me, oh how happy we’ll be... ” Harbo is a marine biologist based in the Pacific Northwest. Here he offers a guide to the most common seashells and shellfish found in this region. Colour photographs illustrate this user-friendly, pocket-sized resource, which contains a quiz.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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