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Emperors of the Deep: Sharks--The Ocean's Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians PDF, ePub eBook

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Emperors of the Deep: Sharks--The Ocean's Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians

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Emperors of the Deep: Sharks--The Ocean's Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians PDF, ePub eBook In this remarkable groundbreaking book, a documentarian and conservationist, determined to dispel misplaced fear and correct common misconceptions, explores in-depth the secret lives of sharks—magnificent creatures who play an integral part in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans and ultimately the planet. From the Jaws blockbusters to Shark Week, we are conditioned In this remarkable groundbreaking book, a documentarian and conservationist, determined to dispel misplaced fear and correct common misconceptions, explores in-depth the secret lives of sharks—magnificent creatures who play an integral part in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans and ultimately the planet. From the Jaws blockbusters to Shark Week, we are conditioned to see sharks as terrifying cold-blooded underwater predators. But as Safeguard the Seasfounder William McKeever reveals, sharks are evolutionary marvels essential to maintaining a balanced ecosystem. We can learn much from sharks, he argues, and our knowledge about them continues to grow. The first book to reveal in full the hidden lives of sharks, Emperors of the Deep examines four species—Mako, Tiger, Hammerhead, and Great White—as never before, and includes fascinating details such as: Sharks are 50-million years older than trees; Sharks have survived five extinction level events, including the one that killed off the dinosaurs; Sharks have electroreception, a sixth-sense that lets them pick up on electric fields generated by living things; Sharks can dive 4,000 feet below the surface; Sharks account for only 6 human fatalities per year, while humans kill 100 million sharks per year. McKeever goes back through time to probe the shark’s pre-historic secrets and how it has become the world’s most feared and most misunderstood predator, and takes us on a pulse-pounding tour around the world and deep under the water’s surface, from the frigid waters of the Arctic Circle to the coral reefs of the tropical Central Pacific, to see sharks up close in their natural habitat. He also interviews ecologists, conservationists, and world-renowned shark experts, including the founders of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, the head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, and the self-professed “last great shark hunter.” At once a deep-dive into the misunderstood world of sharks and an urgent call to protect them, Emperors of the Deep celebrates this wild species that hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of the ocean—if we can prevent their extinction from climate change and human hunters.

30 review for Emperors of the Deep: Sharks--The Ocean's Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    ...the sensors jammed into a mako’s head resemble the cockpit of an F-35 fighter jet. [presumably without the design flaws and cost overruns] The mako’s sensors are equal in sophistication to the fighter jet’s advanced systems except they are bundled in nerves, flesh, and blood. Not comforting. It was the shark tournament that spurred him to action. William McKeever has had a lifelong interest in sharks, ever since his father took him fishing in Nantucket Sound as a kid. An encounter with a caug ...the sensors jammed into a mako’s head resemble the cockpit of an F-35 fighter jet. [presumably without the design flaws and cost overruns] The mako’s sensors are equal in sophistication to the fighter jet’s advanced systems except they are bundled in nerves, flesh, and blood. Not comforting. It was the shark tournament that spurred him to action. William McKeever has had a lifelong interest in sharks, ever since his father took him fishing in Nantucket Sound as a kid. An encounter with a caught (and released) dogfish led to long curiosity-driven hours at the library, hunting down, then devouring all he could find on sharks. A few years ago, a lifetime later, on a weekend in Montauk, he got to see appalling scene after appalling scene, large numbers of sharks on display, most thrown away post photo, a Breughelesque scene of mindless genocidal mayhem, otherwise known as the Montauk Shark Tournament. A bit more research revealed that, despite the bad rap sharks have gotten from our popular media, (I mean you, Spielberg) most shark “attacks” are the equivalent of a dog bite. It really is the sharks who are probably wondering if it’s safe to go back into the water. While sharks kill an average of four humans a year, humans kill 100 million sharks each year. That is not a typo. Humans kill 100 million sharks each year. William McKeever - image from McKeever’s site Many of us engage in small ways to try to help when we see outrages in the world. Whether that means trying to help elect public officials who share our concerns, contributing to non-profits engaged in doing battle in our particular areas of concern, maybe volunteering to help out in some way. McKeever was a Wall-Street managing director at Paine Webber, UBS, and Merrill Lynch, and an analyst for Institutional Investor magazine, sharing his expertise on NBC, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal. But it turned out he had bigger fish to fry, and his financial success on Wall Street allowed him the means to pursue his passion. Bringing to light the damage that recreational fishing, particularly scenes of carnage like the one he had seen at Montauk, and the even greater mass annihilation of the world’s shark population by commercial fishing, became his mission. In 2018, he founded a conservancy tasked with helping protect sharks and other fish that man is wiping out, by showing sharks in a new light, as the magnificent creatures they are, survivors extraordinaire, who were here before the dinosaurs, and will probably still be here after people are gone, if we don’t wipe them out first. Hammerhead Shark - image from McKeever’s site In order to put together educational materials. You need to learn what there is to learn. Although McKeever’s interest had been of long-standing, and although he knew a hell of a lot, having produced two documentary films about sharks, McKeever visited major oceanographic facilities across the planet, interviewed leading scientists and conservationists, and distilled what he learned down to a very readable and informative 295 pages. In addition to producing this book, he and his team are working on a documentary film. It should be available in 2020. Tiger Sharks - image from McKeever’s site His investigative sojourn took two years, and was truly global, from Montauk, and Cape Cod, to the Florida coast and Keys, the Dry Tortugas, and Hawaii. He traveled to Taiwan, Cambodia, Australia, South Africa and the Bahamas. And I am sure I missed a few. He also interviewed experts, without literally diving in, in many other locations. The Dry Tortugas - Bush Key - from our vault While occasionally these field trips were duds, not sighting anything more than a descending dorsal fin in Shark Alley, SHARK bloody ALLEY in South Africa, (although to be fair, not seeing sharks in Shark Alley does speak to the impact humans have had on shark population, so maybe not a dud after all), or noting his arrival in a place just to tick the box and then off to some other place. But mostly the first-person accounts of his meetings with a diverse set of experts, and his observations, both land-based and in the water, are illuminating, sometimes very surprising, and sometimes somewhat grim. Shark Alley in rush hour - image from National Geographic McKeever concentrates on four sharks in particular, the Mako, Tiger, Hammerhead and Great White, offering fascinating information about each. Numerous popular articles have described the brain of a white shark as being the size of a walnut, a misleading and inaccurate comparison. The brain of an adult white shark is shaped like a “Y,” and from the scent-detecting bulbs to the brain stem, a shark’s brain can measure up to approximately 2 feet in length…relative to the body weight of birds and marsupials…the great white’s brain is massive. Makos and Great Whites hunt using their blazing speed, then close the deal with insanely powerful jaws, nicely lined with many large, very sharp teeth; Tiger sharks are also deadly fast, but they prefer to swim slowly and ambush prey with a sudden burst of speed. Tiger sharks like to sneak up on divers, disappearing and reappearing like a magician’s trick, which unnerves many. - Can’t imagine why. Mary Lee - a great white with over 75,000 FB followers- image from her site Sharks serve a very useful function in marine ecology. An impressive list of items found in very omnivorous Tiger shark stomachs, boat cushions, tin cans, license plates, tires, the head of a crocodile, for example, reinforces the notion that the shark is a high-tech machine assigned the modest job of ocean cleanup. When tigers remove garbage—weak and sick fish—they remove from the ocean bacteria and viruses that can harm reefs and seagrass. However, the tiger’s work extends beyond mere custodial work: as apex predators, tiger sharks play an important role in maintaining the balance of fish species across the ecosystem. Moreover, the research shows that areas with more apex predators have greater biodiversity and higher densities of individuals than do areas with fewer apex predators. Sorry, no Land Sharks. Land shark - image from from SNL Fandom Sharks face considerable dangers beyond the risk of chowing down on flavors of tires and tags that are not to their liking. You will share McKeever’s outrage when you read his description of the Montauk Tournament. There are gruesome descriptions of the vile, cruel behavior engaged in by people on commercial, and some sport fishing vessels. It makes one ashamed to be a human. You will shudder when you read of the practice of finning, done to satisfy the booming Asian demand for shark fin soup. Sharks face huge perils from sports fishermen, but the greatest danger is from long-lining. Ships drop fishing lines that are sometimes tens of miles long, with a baited hook every few feet. The catch is massive, but only part of what is caught is what the fishermen want. The rest, called bycatch, are tossed overboard, usually dead, sometimes not. It is the equivalent of clearcutting forests or mountaintop-removal mining. Kill them all and toss what you don’t want. Thus the stark disparity in shark-deaths-by-human versus human-deaths-by-shark. McKeever looks at what is likely the impact of climate change on some places where one might expect sharks in abundance but in which they have become scarce. Denticles on a hammerhead – image from hammerheadsharks.weebly.com There are many details about sharks that may force the word “wow” or “cool” from your lips. Like denticles. Rub a shark’s skin (a small, friendly shark) one way, and it is smooth. Reverse direction and it will feel like sand paper, or worse. Millions of years ago, sharks traded scales in for dermal denticles. These are small scale-like growths that function both as a sort of chain-mail protection and as an aid to swimming speed, as they reduce friction. Ok, you may have known about those, but what about a cephalofoil? Yeah, go ahead, look it up. The Rainbow Warrior - image from Greenpeace McKeever spends some time on The Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s well-known vessel, learning a great deal about the challenges marine creatures face from unregulated international fishing. The chapter on human trafficking in the fishing industry is must-read material. You will be shocked at what he learned. It is clear that owners of fishing vessels that use and mistreat slave labor have no more regard for human life than they do for the sharks they slaughter by the millions. It was news to me that many of these ships remain at sea for years at a time, offering not even the possibility of escape for desperate captives. I had no idea. While the book is not suffused with the stuff, McKeever shows a delightful sense of humor from time to time. This is most welcome in a tale that can be quite upsetting at times. His writing is clear, direct, and mostly free of poetic, rapturous description, which is just fine. He tells what he has learned and believes is important for us to know. His personal experiences with close encounters of the shark kind are engaging and relatable. Shark brain -image from wikimedia You will learn a lot from Emperors of the Deep. Some information may be a bit familiar, but I found that there was a lot in here that was news. I expect most of us have some general knowledge of sharks, and the image in our heads is probably the one created by Steven Spielberg in 1975. One of the best things you will get from this book is at least some appreciation for the range of sharks that share our planet, and what differentiates them from each other, but much more importantly an appreciation for how critical they are to the ecosystem, how much of a threat to people they aren’t, and how quickly we are wiping them out. There is a shark that swim sideways. Whoda thunk? You will gain a new appreciation for the significance of sea grass as a key player in the sustenance of marine ecosystems. Seagrass - image from Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Gripes – The book could really use an index. There is a center section with color photographs. These are fine. I would have preferred graphics, whether drawings or photos, that illustrated the notions he was describing, particularly as regards shark anatomy. There are times when the author seems to lose his focus. For instance, his visit to Brisbane and a bit of attempted kayaking in a rough sea may have been a fun memory for him, but had not much to do with the mission of the book, as he dashes off 340 miles to catch a ferry to the Coral Sea, where the subject at hand is re-engaged. Descriptions of a shark brain, or denticles, differences in the eyes of diverse species, and sundry more items would have been greatly enhanced by the presence of right-there images. More curiosity than a gripe, I wondered about what McKeever had been up to between the time he left Merrill Lynch and when took up conservation. Finally, the book could have used a list of organizations mentioned in the book, with contact information. Lego Mako Shark - image from ideas.lego.com McKeever, in attempting to rebrand sharks from man-eating monsters to vanishing species, makes the case that we need apex predators to thrive, that they are crucial to maintaining biodiversity, and healthy marine ecosystems. He fills us in on the value of healthy shark populations to the tourism industry. He fills us in on just how amazing and diverse these creatures are, and reports on fishing practices that are certain to push global shark populations to the brink of extinction, if international law, regulation, and enforcement are not directed at the problem. He also offers some hopeful examples of positive programs that are making or seek to make a difference. Cage diving is one way sharks contribute to ecotourism - image from Scubaverse.com If they were able to articulate the notion, sharks would surely be thinking that, with the attacks they are constantly suffering, they’re gonna need a bigger planet. When Americans eat canned tuna, they do not realize the destruction of the ocean that their meal represents. Imagine if producing a single hamburger required butchers to kill not only the cow but all the other barnyard animals too. Review posted – August 3, 2019 Publication date – June 25, 2019 =============================EXTRA STUFF Yes, I know I am a little late with this review. I had hoped to have it out before, instead of during, Shark Week. Mea culpa. But here it is now. I hope you can get to it in short order. Links to the author’s personal, and FB pages McKeever has a Twitter, page, but it has been pretty much abandoned, and his LinkedIn page is long out of date. McKeever also has a documentary in the works on plastics in the oceans Interviews -----NY Post - Why sharks aren’t as bad as ‘Jaws’ makes them out to be - by Eric Spitznagel -----Feather Sound News - In an interview with CMRubinWorld for Earth Day, April 22, 2019, author, conservationist and filmmaker William Mckeever corrects common misconceptions about the world’s most feared and misunderstood predators. - (not big on snappy headlines, are they) -----The Cape Cod Chronicle - Researcher Uses Book, Film In Quest To Protect Sharks by Debra Lawless Items of Interest -----Excerpt - Fox News William McKeever: Sharks aren't quite the threat that 'Jaws' portrayed -----Mary Lee’s Facebook page – Mary Lee is noted in the book as a tagged shark that had developed a global following, as her peregrinations were tracked -----Mary Lee’s Twitter page -----Adventure Sports Network - Is the Famed Great White Shark, Mary Lee, Gone Forever? - by Jon Coen -----OCEARCH -----Discovery schedule for Shark Week Videos -----Baby Shark -----Lesley Rochat – Rethink the Shark - CHECK THIS OUT!!!!! -----Book Trailer

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Months after finishing Emperors of the Deep, I'm still debating between two and three stars. Time brings clarity to many things, but apparently my reading opinions can be immune. So. I LOVE sharks. I love crazy, man-eating, fictional sharks (Jaws, Bait, Meg) And I love real life, majestic, endangered sharks. They're just really freaking cool. I will admit, I was totally scared of them as a kid. But I was scared of a lot of things in my early single digit years - sharks, snakes, balloons, the vacu Months after finishing Emperors of the Deep, I'm still debating between two and three stars. Time brings clarity to many things, but apparently my reading opinions can be immune. So. I LOVE sharks. I love crazy, man-eating, fictional sharks (Jaws, Bait, Meg) And I love real life, majestic, endangered sharks. They're just really freaking cool. I will admit, I was totally scared of them as a kid. But I was scared of a lot of things in my early single digit years - sharks, snakes, balloons, the vacuum, the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, Return to Oz. Years upon years later, sharks still fascinate me. As with anything that has the potential to literally eat me I will always have some trepidation around them. But that's significantly outweighed by the fact that just because they could eat me, doesn't mean they want to. Even in the more predatory species, humans aren't usually on the menu. Most bites are investigatory or accidental. Besides, I'd be really cranky if someone strolled into my living room like they owned the damn place, then screamed at me to get away from them. In the United States, a person has a 1 in 265 million chance of being killed by a shark. That's one of the things this book does well. I think over the past few years, there's been an incredible amount done towards repainting sharks as the super cool animals they are and not as targeted killing machines. It's a book that puts an incredible amount of effort into educating the reader. Unfortunately, it's a little dry. There are so many cool facts and statistics it wants to tell that it sometimes overwhelms the narrative. The big thing that overwhelms the narrative is the ocean conservation angle. It becomes straight up preachy. And I say this as a big believer in worldwide conservation efforts to protect our environment and everything living in it (including us!) But just because I happen to agree with the viewpoint the book is representing, doesn't mean that it's not awkward and heavy handed. There are entire chapters that just seem to veer sharply to the side, detailing the horrors of over-fishing, shark finning, and even the slave trade on fishing boats. Ultimately it becomes a distraction and throws off the pacing irreparably. I hate to say it, but this book is more about the impact of the fishing industry on our shark population, and less about the sharks themselves. I didn't have an awful time reading Emperors of the Deep, but it didn't amaze me either. There's some great research and detailed facts about many species of sharks. I just wish it wasn't overwhelmed by an excess of fishing industry horrors. *Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperOne for the review copy.*

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Wineberg

    It is quite remarkable that in 2019 we still don’t know much about sharks. We know little of their mating habits, their territories, their abilities,their lifespans, their value in ecology and in dollar/ecotourism terms. William McKeever goes a long way to filling in the gaps in Emperors of the Deep. There are about 400 species of shark left that we haven’t totally obliterated. At 400-600 million years, sharks are among the oldest survivors. They have come in a literally unbelievable variety of s It is quite remarkable that in 2019 we still don’t know much about sharks. We know little of their mating habits, their territories, their abilities,their lifespans, their value in ecology and in dollar/ecotourism terms. William McKeever goes a long way to filling in the gaps in Emperors of the Deep. There are about 400 species of shark left that we haven’t totally obliterated. At 400-600 million years, sharks are among the oldest survivors. They have come in a literally unbelievable variety of shapes and sizes, including one with an upright buzzsaw of teeth in its mouth, and of course the hammerhead, with one eye at each end of the T. Some work in packs, some are loners. McKeever examines them closely, giving an entire chapter to each of the Big Four. The great white shark is a traveler, a nomad. Scientists attach trackers to their dorsal fins, and find them crossing the Atlantic or from California to Hawaii and back like it was a stroll. Another was tracked in a straight line from South Africa to Australia and back, racking up about 70 miles a day. Tens of thousands of miles are in their territories. They go deep. Great whites think nothing of swimming at a mile of depth, and can rise or dive with total comfort and ease and dizzying speed. The mako is the top predator. It is a speed demon with extraordinarily sharp senses of smell and electro-sensitivities. From its pointed head to its powerful body, it is a streamlined predator. It can track prey for hours, making a final sprint at up to 45 mph. Tuna, the bullet of the seas, is its main target. McKeever tells the story of a gigantic 1323 pound mako, caught (and tortured to death). It had an entire sea lion in its stomach, which it had fought and swallowed whole a couple of days earlier. Fighting for its life on a line, a mako will jump 20 feet out of the water, several times. Makos have such a large range they can run afoul of 19 different jurisdictions in their territory, and the chance of a mako being killed in the north Atlantic in any year is a worrying 30%. Hammerhead sharks are possibly the most unusual of animals. Their T-shaped heads have eyes on the ends. The bigger they are, the more their vision overlaps, giving them better and better depth perception. The front of the head also contains a series of noses. As the shark swims, it passes water through the sensors, giving it not just recognition but direction for the source. To maximize the tool, the hammerhead sweeps its head back and forth as it swims, like a blind person with a cane. With such good vision, it prefers the shallows, where the bottom is visible. Others, like the great white, rely on other senses, and swimming through total blackness is no bother. Tiger sharks are the clever ones. They track, corner and ambush prey. They like to see, but not be seen. Their teeth are a sort of A or Y shape, differentiating them from all other sharks. The force of their jaws is rated at 3 tons per square centimeter, which McKeever says is the weight of two cars applied to one spot. Combined with the serrated teeth, this is a killing machine. Shark numbers are down 75-80% over the past 15 years. They are roadkill, called bycatch in fishing terms, of nets and hooks meant for others. They are also caught illegally 24 hours a day by mostly Asian fish processors, simply for their fins, used in a largely tasteless soup that can go for up to $25,000 a bowl in China. The still-living tubes that are their bodies are dumped back into the ocean where they fall to the bottom and drown. There is a dramatic chapter on slavery, in which Asian men are kidnapped for fishing vessels that may not put to shore for years at a time. They are regularly beaten, kept awake with drugs, and worked 20 hours a day, while being fed next to nothing outside of fish scraps. When necessary, they are simply dumped overboard. The boats can fish for years not just because labor is free, but because there are gigantic reefer ships – floating fish freezers and processing plants, that they can transfer their catch to when their little boats fill up. It’s an evil system that is rapidly depleting the oceans of sharks, tuna and numerous other species. They like to carry flags of multiple nations in case they are inspected, which is quite illegal itself. They like to export to Western countries, which put all kinds of legal restrictions on fishing, for sustainability reasons. Odds are high you have bought fish (even just canned tuna) caught by slaves. A real problem is some sharks’ remarkable range. A few countries protect them, some simply welcome them, and some have nothing to say. Passing from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, sharks are terrifically at risk. A hundred million are killed each year. Unlike other fish however, sharks don’t spread a million eggs out for sperm to fertilize. They nurture 12-20 young in pregnancies that last nearly two years. Some give birth to just two at a time. The math says this cannot go on much longer. Sharks sense movement with their sight when possible, with smell, and with electrosensors that receive signals of movement. Any sort of disturbance under water will bring them to investigate. They don’t simply attack anything that moves, either. They know what they want and when they want it. There are legions of stories in which men faced sharks, and the sharks simply wheeled and left the scene. The number of shark attacks of swimmers is so tiny as to be meaningless, especially considering how many more millions of people flock to the beaches and seas today. Culling sharks does nothing to lessen the number of attacks. It just unbalances the ecological matrix of the oceans, McKeever says. There is an excellent chapter on the cascading effects and unintended consequences of shark reduction around the world. In example after example, McKeever shows that the reduction or removal of the top predator has results that ricochet right down to sea grass, which feed and shelter innumerable species in the food chain. By keeping the middle-sized predators in check, sharks prevent them from clearing out the coral reefs, mangrove swamps and shore grasses which nurture life in the oceans. They are the vultures of the deep, cleaning up whale carcasses, picking out the diseased and the weak fish, and so helping other species to improve and increase. Taking sharks out of the equation upsets the whole balance, making coral reefs barren dead zones. Their role is critical. McKeever has done a remarkable job of assembling this knowledge, travelling the world, and seeing for himself. Sharks have been his passion since childhood, and it shows. Emperors of the Deep is both respectful and personal. He ends with the sadly obligatory calls for greater vigilance, tighter laws, more co-operation and better appreciation to save the shark from extinction and the planet from having to go on without them. After half a billion years, they deserve better. David Wineberg

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    A fascinating rundown on the biology and nature of sharks that gets overwhelmed by its conservationist message. Some chapters break down the history and of biology individual species into interesting tidbits and others focus on recent discoveries about shark behavior-- these supposed loners are actually pretty social and will even teach their buddies where to find food. The dangers to sharks caused by over fishing, long-line fishing, shark-fin soup, and trophy fishing are brutally detailed and th A fascinating rundown on the biology and nature of sharks that gets overwhelmed by its conservationist message. Some chapters break down the history and of biology individual species into interesting tidbits and others focus on recent discoveries about shark behavior-- these supposed loners are actually pretty social and will even teach their buddies where to find food. The dangers to sharks caused by over fishing, long-line fishing, shark-fin soup, and trophy fishing are brutally detailed and the shark's importance to the ocean's ecosystem is clearly laid out. The problem is the the book is gradually drifts into a general message of ocean conservation and gets bogged down by entire chapters centered on human trafficking in the fishing industry and China's domination of the market that bombard you with facts and figures on things like fishing quotas. it's also a long, dry slog before it gets back to being about sharks again, and the book never gets it's momentum back.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeimy

    This eye-opening book explains how fishing is threatening this keystone species. It also offers a harrowing look at some commercial fishing practices. A must read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    I strongly wanted to like this book. I'm on a quest to learn about sharks and this book did provide some factual information. However, it was a difficult book to listen to for a number of reasons: 1) The narration style was like a sleepy bedtime story. 2) There were a number of mispronunciations of somewhat scientific terms. 3) While there was factual information about a few shark species and fishing practices, far too much time was spent describing the author's personal, somewhat questionable ex I strongly wanted to like this book. I'm on a quest to learn about sharks and this book did provide some factual information. However, it was a difficult book to listen to for a number of reasons: 1) The narration style was like a sleepy bedtime story. 2) There were a number of mispronunciations of somewhat scientific terms. 3) While there was factual information about a few shark species and fishing practices, far too much time was spent describing the author's personal, somewhat questionable experiences. For instance, he describes the importance of predators in the ecosystem, then tells how he prevented a baby sea turtle from untimely natural demise. 4) The author made a case for the importance of ocean ecology, but then continued to lecture down to his audience and belabor the point, while not providing any additional information. 5) Parts of the book were repetitive, again, repetitive. 6) Overuse and incorrect use of the term "apex predator". 7) While obviously researched, the author did not have a sufficient knowledge on all the topics he presented to describe them accurately. On a number of issues, his presentation was somewhat skewed - not completely wrong, but not right, either. My conclusion was that the author capitalized on an opportunity to travel and fulfill some of his bucket list while being able to write it all off. The book would be greatly improved by a scientific review/edit and overall, a much better editing job. The Audio version would also be improved by a having a different reader with a bit more of an engaging speaking style.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Johnson

    Rated 2.5/5. I think a lot of my issues with this book stem from the fact that I'm not the right reader. Sharks are my favorite animals, especially hammerheads and great whites. I've read so much about them and watched lots of shows and documentaries about sharks. This book might be a good intro for someone who is generally interested in sharks, but who hasn't spent much time exploring these interests. I was hoping that this book would be more of a microhistory on sharks and the way that society Rated 2.5/5. I think a lot of my issues with this book stem from the fact that I'm not the right reader. Sharks are my favorite animals, especially hammerheads and great whites. I've read so much about them and watched lots of shows and documentaries about sharks. This book might be a good intro for someone who is generally interested in sharks, but who hasn't spent much time exploring these interests. ⁣ ⁣ I was hoping that this book would be more of a microhistory on sharks and the way that society has treated them. I felt that this book was bogged down by copious detail about various scientists and the author's personal anecdotes about his travels and achieving his goal of swimming with tiger sharks. Some of the chapters, like the one about human trafficking in the global fish trade, might also have been better suited for another book. Other chapters described in great detail how certain scientists tagged and released hundreds of sharks. I really needed more detail about the sharks themselves for this to be a hit. ⁣ ⁣ It was obvious that this author is extremely passionate about sharks and ocean sustainability, but this really missed the mark of being a cohesive study about either of these passions. ⁣

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie Whitt

    This book was great, McKeever has a bighearted love of sharks which shines through in his writing. For me lots of nonfiction gets too technical and forgets the simple joy of learning about the natural world but McKeever packed this book with lots of interesting facts and sheer enthusiasm. His writing style was conversational and at times funny, which prompted me to share several lines of this book on social media, but he definitely does dig into the darker side of not only the survival of sharks This book was great, McKeever has a bighearted love of sharks which shines through in his writing. For me lots of nonfiction gets too technical and forgets the simple joy of learning about the natural world but McKeever packed this book with lots of interesting facts and sheer enthusiasm. His writing style was conversational and at times funny, which prompted me to share several lines of this book on social media, but he definitely does dig into the darker side of not only the survival of sharks, but also the human trafficking perpetuated by the fishing industry. I was personally unaware of that aspect and found the stories horrifying. I will admit to skimming over some of the more disturbing details of shark fishing, and how badly humans are managing the ocean, but overall I definitely recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in the oceans or sharks.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terry Enright

    The problem with this book is that it requires the reader to pull their head out of the sand. It's tough to read about the devastation of many Shark species. It may even be worse to read man's inhumanity to man. There's reading for enjoyment, and there's reading to inform oneself. unfortunately the two don't cross paths in this book. But, truth be told, they shouldn't cross paths when discussing a book, that talks of not only the cruel mistreatment of Sharks, but of Human Beings as well. I lear The problem with this book is that it requires the reader to pull their head out of the sand. It's tough to read about the devastation of many Shark species. It may even be worse to read man's inhumanity to man. There's reading for enjoyment, and there's reading to inform oneself. unfortunately the two don't cross paths in this book. But, truth be told, they shouldn't cross paths when discussing a book, that talks of not only the cruel mistreatment of Sharks, but of Human Beings as well. I learned a lot, and I'll be much more vigilant when it come to my sources for fish.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Namrata

    Love anything about animals. Can't wait to get my hands on this!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mark Eckstein

    I received this book through a goodreads giveaway. It was a very good read on a topic that I had not thought a lot about previously. Does read a little preachy at points but a great read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Foggygirl

    Excellent Great read about one of the most fascinating animals in the ocean and their struggles to survive in the anthropocene.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    NF Science 295 pages Very informative and thought provoking. An enjoyable journey into the sharks world.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Holly Barker

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liz Young

  17. 5 out of 5

    viniho

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robert Peter

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Long

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Perkins

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lexie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Schuer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caity

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  27. 5 out of 5

    Relika McNulty

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Harrow Gildenstern

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dan Peck

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