Cover image for The shark watcher's handbook : a guide to sharks and where to see them
The shark watcher's handbook : a guide to sharks and where to see them
Carwardine, Mark.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
287 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 25 cm
General Note:
"First published in 2002 by BBC Worldwide Ltd."--T.p. verso.
Subject Term:

Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL638.9 .C37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Hundreds of thousands of people have an intentional encounter with sharks every year, and shark-watching has become a multi-million dollar business. The ultimate shark-watcher's guide, this comprehensive and ground-breaking book is essential reading for any marine enthusiast who wants to navigate the waters of those who consort with sharks.

The Shark-Watcher's Handbook covers everything you need to know about sharks and shark watching: the history, techniques, risks and controversies; a thorough overview of shark natural history and biology; the many threats facing sharks and how snorkelers and divers can help; and even how to get good shark photographs, safely. There is also an extensive, fully illustrated directory of the twenty-four species most commonly encountered by shark watchers. Each entry includes important information on natural history, classification, diet, reproduction, behavior and range; and there are special sections on identification, the potential danger to divers and good places for a close encounter.

The book includes the first detailed directory of more than 250 of the world's shark-watching hotspots, with a detailed description of each site and information on everything from the species most likely to be seen and the best time of year to visit to contact details for further information and travel notes.

Whether you're a professional diver, someone contemplating your first close encounter with a shark, or the sort of person who prefers to view these extraordinary animals in the pages of a book, The Shark-Watcher's Handbook is an attractive, invaluable, and utterly fascinating guide to the underwater world of sharks.

Author Notes

Mark Carwardine is a zoologist, writer, photographer, and broadcaster who has published extensively on travel, wildlife, and conservation. Presenter of the BBC program Nature, he is the author of many books
Ken Watterson is a research scientist and Churchill Fellow. Founder of the Basking Shark Society, he has swum with more basking sharks than any other person

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following 2001's Summer of the Shark, when reports of attacks up and down the Eastern seaboard seemed weirdly frequent, this slim volume, a kind of Audubon guide to the deep, comes to clear the water. Zoologist Carwardine and research scientist Watterson compile a bevy of maps, drawings and information-rich essays in a single package for the shark-curious. (Or the shark-serious: to identify a silvertip shark, one presumably must swim quite near him.) Part reference book and part travel guide, the writing at times borders on the dryly academic, with sections devoted to topics such as "Origins and ancestors," and "Shark repellents and protection." The images are generally good, a combination of crisp underwater photography and well-rendered illustrations. A world directory of prime shark-watching locations takes up much of the rest of the page-count. For those so fascinated by the thought of the deep-sea killers that they actually want to confront one, this book will take them far towards achieving that goal. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

1 Shark Diving
Chumming and baitingp. 10
Is shark diving acceptable ecotourism or unacceptable and dangerous exploitation?p. 11
Planning a shark divep. 18
2 How Dangerous are Sharks?
The International Shark Attack Filep. 24
How many people are attacked?p. 24
Why do sharks attack?p. 25
Where do sharks attack?p. 27
Shark attacks on diversp. 29
Dangerous sharksp. 30
Reducing the riskp. 31
Shark repellents and protectionp. 34
Learning from an 'inevitable' attackp. 36
Shark attacks in perspectivep. 37
3 Shark Photography
Camerasp. 40
Lensesp. 42
Filmp. 44
Exposurep. 44
Artificial flashp. 45
Backscatterp. 46
Get close...and then get even closerp. 47
Compositionp. 47
Safetyp. 48
4 The World of Sharks
Origins and ancestorsp. 51
Classification of sharksp. 54
The perfect bodyp. 58
Sensing the environmentp. 60
The ultimate predatorp. 65
Making more sharksp. 69
Shark researchp. 73
5 Shark Conservation
Shark finningp. 80
Shark skin, meat, liver oil, cartilage and other productsp. 85
How divers can helpp. 87
6 Shark Directory
Shark identificationp. 89
Naming the parts of a sharkp. 91
Sand tiger sharkp. 92
Thresher sharksp. 94
Basking sharkp. 96
Shortfin mako sharkp. 98
Great white sharkp. 100
Scalloped hammerhead sharkp. 102
Great hammerhead sharkp. 104
Caribbean reef sharkp. 106
Oceanic whitetip sharkp. 108
Silky sharkp. 110
Dusky sharkp. 112
Galapagos sharkp. 114
Grey reef sharkp. 116
Silvertip sharkp. 118
Blacktip reef sharkp. 120
Bull sharkp. 122
Bronze whaler sharkp. 124
Lemon sharkp. 126
Tiger sharkp. 128
Whitetip reef sharkp. 130
Blue sharkp. 132
Whale sharkp. 134
Nurse sharkp. 136
Zebra sharkp. 138
7 Directory of Shark-watching Sites
Mapsp. 142
Introductionp. 154
North America and Mexicop. 155
Central and South Americap. 175
The Bahamas and the Caribbeanp. 187
Europep. 202
East and Southern Africap. 205
North Africa and the Middle Eastp. 214
Asiap. 221
Mauritiusp. 234
The Seychellesp. 235
The Maldivesp. 238
Australasiap. 248
Pacific Islandsp. 268