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Nature Fish

Sharks, Skates, Rays and Chimeras of British Columbia

by (author) Gordon McFarlane & Jackie King

Royal BC Museum
Initial publish date
May 2020
Fish, Reference, Marine Life
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price

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The only current field guide to sharks and rays of the West Coast of British Columbia.

Sharks! The very mention of the word conjures up images of dangerous creatures with a voracious appetite. This public image couldn?t be farther from the truth for a vast majority of shark species: most are cautious and placid, and many inhabit waters that exclude them from human contact. Much fear of sharks is driven by media reports or films that sensationalize shark attacks, despite the rarity of such occurrences. So much about sharks, and their relatives, makes them fascinating, and we still have much to learn.

This book is for everyone interested in learning more about sharks and their relatives. It provides the most accurate and up-to-date information on chondrichthyans in British Columbia waters, including detailed species descriptions and identification information. Sharks, Skates, Rays and Chimeras of British Columbia presents sharks and their relatives as valuable members of our coastal fish community, worthy of respect, study, admiration and protection.

About the authors

Gordon McFarlane spent 30 years as a researcher at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. He was a member and advisor to numerous international negotiating teams and participated in the development and conduct of a number of international research programs. He has authored more than 200 publications concerning the biology and assessment of marine resources. He lives on Vancouver Island, BC.

Gordon McFarlane's profile page

Jackie King's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Sharks, Skates, Rays and Chimeras of British Columbia is a long-overdue book on a diverse group of species found on our coast. This handbook is accessible to any reader and strikes the perfect balance of scientific detail, history, conservation, imagery and useful facts. Despite the comprehensive review, it left me contemplating how little we truly understand. Anyone interested in the natural history of British Columbia's marine life should have this on their shelf."?Scott Wallace, Senior research scientist, David Suzuki Foundation

"The authors have assembled an impressive compendium. After spending a lifetime at sea commercial fishing, I find this book provides valuable insight for ecological and fisheries scientists, managers and resource harvesters to consider when assessing how best to conserve and sustain these important species. The authors' contributions to this subject reflect years of experience and dedication to improving our understanding and relationship with aquatic ecosystems."?Brian Mose, Executive director, Deep Sea Trawlers Association

"Detailed, thorough, comprehensive and wonderfully illustrated. This compendium of up-to-date information on sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras of British Columbia is authored by well-known and respected scientists with a wealth of personal experiences and expertise. The background biological information is easily understandable, the treatment of each species provides a guide to understanding the unexpectedly wide and surprising diversity of this group of animals in Canadian waters, and the exceptional photographs by Andy Murch make this a standout addition to any library for scientists and non-scientists alike."?Dr. Jeffrey C. Carrier, Professor emeritus of biology, Albion College, and senior editor of Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives

"Who knew that there could be so many different sharks, skates, rays and chimeras in British Columbia waters! This eye-opening handbook and field guide, which combines amazing photographs and insightful species information, provides just the type of information most valued by divers, naturalists, commercial and sport fishers, fish biologists and managers, or indeed anyone interested in marine life. Sharks, skates and their relatives are truly fascinating creatures, and this handbook highlights their diversity off the west coast of Canada."?Dr. Steven Campana, Professor of Fisheries, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

"Sharks, Skates, and Rays of British Columbia is an indispensable guide to an incredible and misunderstood group of animals. In addition to a guidebook that will introduce BC residents to the many fascinating species that live in or visit our waters, this book also contains an introduction to key scientific and conservation principles associated with sharks and their relatives. Full of great information and beautiful photographs, this book is a must-have for marine biologists and fish lovers alike!"?Dr. David Shiffman, Marine conservation biologist, former Simon Fraser University Liber Ero Postdoctoral Research Fellow

"The more we come to know about and appreciate the lives of some of our lesser-known sea creatures the better we, as a society, can protect their?and our?future. Kudos to Gordon and Jackie for the considerable time, effort, and expertise that goes into generating such a publication, and Andy's photographic vision that brings the species to life. The smart use of "Quick Bite" references allows us a glimpse of the importance of these species to local First Nations and provides the reader with meaningful local coastal connections. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity read this and realize it will be valuable to researchers, commercial fishermen, and the public?especially children."?W.E. Lorne Clayton, executive director, Canadian Highly Migratory Species Foundation, and co-owner, IEC International

"This is a book I'll be picking up frequently. It can be opened at any page and enjoyed and can quickly be consulted for reference. . . . The information is balanced and the book is beautifully packaged, full of colour and very accessible print." ?Cherie Thiessen, for Pacific Yachting

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