Planet Ocean: Voyage to the Heart of the Marine Realm

Overview

Spanning the vast range of Earth's marine environments, from Greenland to the Polynesian Islands, Planet Ocean reveals hidden landscapes of unsurpassed beauty and awe. These fascinating undersea worlds occupy more than three quarters of the globe, and their natural richness is the source of all life—yet they are still poorly understood.

With engaging text and more than 400 photographs presented in a stunning oversize format, authors Laurent Ballesta and Pierre Descamp lead ...

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Overview

Spanning the vast range of Earth's marine environments, from Greenland to the Polynesian Islands, Planet Ocean reveals hidden landscapes of unsurpassed beauty and awe. These fascinating undersea worlds occupy more than three quarters of the globe, and their natural richness is the source of all life—yet they are still poorly understood.

With engaging text and more than 400 photographs presented in a stunning oversize format, authors Laurent Ballesta and Pierre Descamp lead readers on a compelling voyage of discovery. Each page reveals a new marvel, from the exuberance of underwater forests to the delicate intimacy of octopuses and the extreme survival methods of creatures in the Antarctic. More than 25 essays from leading scientists highlight topics such as aquaculture and global warming—for in addition to celebrating earth's marine life, Planet Ocean helps readers understand the threats that weigh on the oceans and why we must protect the incredible diversity of plants and animals there. The World Conservation Union has partnered on the project to ensure an accurate, timely, and interesting presentation of this very important subject.

Visually rewarding and excellently priced, Planet Ocean will inspire and inform as it entices us to explore the colorful world beneath the sea.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

One of the few volumes of marine photography that devotes a chapter to each of the planet's different marine environments, this book lives up to its title. Ballesta and Descamp, along with their editorial colleagues and advisers at the World Conservation Union (IUCN), have created a truly encyclopedic overview of the amazing range of habitats and ecologies found in Earth's oceans (rather than stick to the easily visited locales that populate most marine photography roundups). The stunning full-bleed images capture intricacies of structure, texture and color that predigital film simply could not. Most chapters are devoted to a particular geographic feature rather than a specific location-"The Undersea Prairies," "Polar Oceans," "The Coral Reefs," "The Oases of the Open Ocean"-and each includes a short introduction; a two-page spread from IUCN experts on topics vital to "the endangered seas" (sustainable fishing, ocean governance, aquaculture, tourism, etc.); and short passages on specific critters, plants and geography. Aside from occasionally difficult-to-read white-on-blue text, this is an outstanding resource for the classroom or the home that will give readers of any age a thorough, breathtaking overview of the world under water. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

There has recently been a rash of coffee-table books about the marine environment (e.g., Reef, The Deep), but this one, by underwater photographer Ballesta and marine biologist Descamp, stands out from the rest. Originally published in French (2005), it is a joyous celebration of the diversity of marine life and environments. Following an introduction by ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau are some 400 outstandingly beautiful photographs organized around different environments (e.g., polar oceans, undersea mountains) and functions (e.g., love life, cohabitation) and complemented by brief textual explanations. Essays from 20 World Conservation Union affiliates focus on the general subject of the preceding section-e.g., aquaculture, sustainable fishing-giving the reader a well-rounded picture of the state of marine biodiversity. But there are flaws: first, while all plants and animals are clearly identified, it is by common name only; no scientific names are given. Also, the book lacks an index, its size and weight make it unwieldy, and there is neither a bibliography nor suggestions for further reading; however, the wide variety of photos and areas covered recommend it for a curriculum relating to or patron interested in the marine environment. For public, school, and college libraries where there is (or should be) interest.
—Margaret Rioux

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426201868
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 11/6/2007
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 474,661
  • Product dimensions: 13.08 (w) x 11.36 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurent Ballesta is an underwater photographer, biologist, and professional diver. An authority on the marine environment, he is a three-time Gold Palm recipient in the World Festival of the Underwater Image.

Pierre Descamp is a marine biologist who specializes in the conservation of marine ecosystems. The author of many studies and scientific publications, he works in France and abroad.

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