Song for the Blue Ocean

“Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World’s Coasts and Beneath the Seas”

Part odyssey, part pilgrimage, this epic personal narrative follows the author’s exploration of coasts, islands, reefs, and the sea’s abyssal depths. Scientist and fisherman Carl Safina takes readers on a global journey of discovery, probing for truth about the world’s changing seas, deftly weaving adventure, science, and political analysis.

Amazon.com Review

The oceans of the world rank foremost among humankind’s last great frontiers, and their climatological and ecological workings remain mysterious to all but specialists. In this lively, well-written survey, marine scientist Carl Safina encourages readers to take a wider interest in the oceans, especially because so much of that great blue expanse is now threatened by human progress. Safina notes, for example, that the North Atlantic’s tuna population has fallen by more than 90 percent in just the last few decades. It has gone the way of cod and herring and pilot whales thanks to a combination of changing global temperatures, overfishing, pollution, inland watershed and delta destruction, and other causes–many of them attributable to human activities. Even now, he notes, many Pacific fishing fleets use cyanide to catch fish, a process that destroys sensitive marine ecosystems. Safina’s tour of the world’s waters may inspire readers to press for changes in the way that fish is brought to their tables, and to take a more careful look at the natural processes that govern this watery planet. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Other than fishers and oceanographers, few people have taken note of the worldwide decline of fish populations. Sounding an alarm, Safina argues that we must extend a sense of biological community to ocean animals.

Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A fact-finding tour of troubled waters. Marine scientist and first-time author Safina, founder of the Audubon Society’s Living Oceans Program, ranges far afield to substantiate fears that something has gone badly wrong in the oceans. The fault, of course, lies with humans. A commission has determined, for instance, that the number of bluefin tuna in the north Atlantic has declined by 90 percent in recent years. Not every one agrees. “Fishermen tell me,” Safina adds, “that the scientists grossly underestimate the numbers.” Along the Grand Banks off Canada, the legendary great shoals of cod have been decimated, causing the government of Canada to suspend the once vast cod-fishing industry. On the Pacific coast, salmon are fast disappearing, the victims of silted rivers, dams, and overfishing. And far out in the Pacific, sharks and rays, swordfish and skates are declining in number. Safina visits all these places, giving little lectures on fish ecology along the way (readers might otherwise never have known that in water of 57 degrees Fahrenheit, a swordfish maintains a cranial temperature of 84 degrees). He allows that the decline of fish has multiple causes; as one of his informants, a California farmer, remarks, “It’s not just the farmers or fishermen. It is water transfers, ocean temperatures, toxic pollutants, timbering, all these things.” On the matter of those toxic pollutants Safina has much to say: He is rightly appalled that in many Pacific nations fish are caught by poisoning the waters with cyanide, a process that kills not only the fish but also fragile coral reefs, among the world’s most endangered ecosystems. Industrialized nations, he notes, and especially Japan, aren’t doing much to help matters, arguing over quotas and territorial limits instead of recognizing that without severe restrictions on fishing the oceans may not be much of a larder in years to come. A valuable account of the devastation we have wrought on what Safina calls “planet Ocean”–and, thanks to the author’s down-to-earth style, a pleasure to read. — Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Other Reviews

“Engrossing and illuminating . . . passionate and enthralling narrative . . . [A] landmark book.” — Thurston Clarke, The New York Times Book Review

“If you love the ocean, read this book.” — Big Game Fishing Journal

“Safina’s Song is the Silent Spring for our time. The book is a page turner. But unlike the phantasmagorical novels of Michael Crichton or Peter Benchley, where a little science is thrown in to give the plot an aura of verisimilitude, Safina’s book is all true and wilder and more frightening. . . . I loved this book.” –Richard Ellis, Los Angeles Times

“[Safina's] bright new voice joins that influential chorus, which includes Rachel Carson and Jacques Cousteau, of scientists turned eloquent ocean advocates.” –Harry E. Demarest, San Francisco Chronicle

“Engrossing and illuminating . . . passionate and enthralling narrative . . . [A] landmark book.” –Thurston Clarke, The New York Times Book Review

“You will never think about fish-or the ocean-the same way again.” –Sylvia Earle, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

“If you love the ocean, read this book.” –Big Game Fishing Journal

“You will never think about fish-or the ocean-the same way again.” — Sylvia Earle, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

“[Safina's] bright new voice joins that influential chorus, which includes Rachel Carson and Jacques Cousteau, of scientists turned eloquent ocean advocates.” — Harry E. Demarest, San Francisco Chronicle

“Safina’s Song is the Silent Spring for our time. The book is a page turner. But unlike the phantasmagorical novels of Michael Crichton or Peter Benchley, where a little science is thrown in to give the plot an aura of verisimilitude, Safina’s book is all true and wilder and more frightening. . . . I loved this book.” –Richard Ellis, Los Angeles Times

“[Safina's] bright new voice joins that influential chorus, which includes Rachel Carson and Jacques Cousteau, of scientists turned eloquent ocean advocates.” –Harry E. Demarest, San Francisco Chronicle

“Engrossing and illuminating . . . passionate and enthralling narrative . . . [A] landmark book.” –Thurston Clarke, The New York Times Book Review”

You will never think about fish-or the ocean-the same way again.” –Sylvia Earle, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

“If you love the ocean, read this book.” –Big Game Fishing Journal