The Ocean of Life by Callum Roberts

The Ocean of Life

A Silent Spring for oceans, written by "the Rachel Carson of the fish world" (The New York Times)Who can forget the sense of wonder with which they discovered the creatures of the deep? In this vibrant hymn to the sea, Callum Roberts—one of the world’s foremost conservation biologists—leads readers on a fascinating tour of mankind’s relationship to the sea, from the earliest traces of water on earth to the oceans as we know them today. In...

Details The Ocean of Life

TitleThe Ocean of Life
Release DateMay 24th, 2012
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Environment, Nature, Biology, Natural History

Reviews The Ocean of Life

  • Max
    Roberts shows us just how dramatic the changes to sea life have been in the last century. Overfishing and destructive wasteful fishing methods combined with climate change and pollution have greatly reduced the abundance of marine life at a time when a rapidly growing world population needs these resources more than ever. The fishing industry’s answer has been ever more exploitive methods as yields decline. There are organizations and governmen...
  • Scot Parker
    This is a marvelously articulate, engaging, and accessible presentation of the myriad impacts the human race is having on the world's oceans. In the first chapter, Roberts quickly takes the reader through the pre-human history of the world beginning with the formation of the oceans 4.4 billion years ago and finishing with the end Permian extinction that marks the beginning of the Triassic. He then skips a few (or a few million) years and spends t...
  • Chrisl
    Quotes : "Chapter 2 - Food from the Sea"Anthropology and archeology have long been in thrall to an image of early humans as big game hunters of the open plains. Game-hunter thinking has us evolving from tree dwellers into savannah dwellers who started to walk on two legs. ..."This view of human origins has a certain mythological ring to it, suggesting as it does that our plucky species succeeded in a heroic struggle against long odds. But the sto...
  • Griffith
    Fantástico libro que conciencia acerca del estado los océanos del planeta y los peligros del cambio climático, desde la sobrepesca a la acidificación del océano, pasando por la contaminación de este tanto por vertidos contaminantes como por la invasión del plástico en el mar.Mantiene un tono de alerta realista y serio, explica los inminentes peligros y etapas de cambio catastróficas que probablemente ocurran a finales de este siglo, no o...
  • Baal Of
    Apparently I like to read depressing non-fiction, and here's another in a long line of books articulating just how badly we humans are fucking the environment. This one is particularly distressing, because most people just blithely assume we can do whatever the fuck we want to the ocean and it will just absorb and fix it, because of its vastness. And then there's the substantial number of people who still fucking deny climate change, or when back...
  • Milan Venditti
    The book "The Ocean Of Life: The Fate of Man and The Sea" by Callum Roberts is a book full of Knowledge, Pictures, and Facts about the ocean. The book is some what interesting and teaches you about the fate of the ocean and the creatures living within the waters. Callum Roberts wrote this book to somewhat inform people about the what we are causing in the oceans. I gave this book 3 stars because it was kinda interesting and learning about the oce...
  • Matthew Blee
    I would recommend this book to everyone simply due to the importance of its message. Roberts presents the current problems (although the book is now the better part of a decade old so some of the facts are dated) facing the marine environment in a clear way that will be accessible even to those with a limited scientific or ecologicial knowledge, but without oversimplifying them. This book will infuriate you with the extent to which humans have ra...
  • John
    A great overview of the ways in which people interact with the sea and some of the wonders hidden beneath the waves. The book can be depressing in parts if only because it doesn't shy away from the fact that humans are doing immeasurable damage to the oceans. The part about the tuna bycatch is horrifying. Overall Callum Roberts has written a knowledgeable and engaging book that I highly recommend.
  • Alisha
    Although the cover suggests it, this book is not just about the oceans and it's wonderful inhabitants. It's about the good of our whole planet and what we can do to stop the temperature rise, pollution, over fishing, etc. Everyone should read this book and see what's really happening to the planet and what we are leaving our future generations.
  • ⋟Kimari⋞
    You might also enjoy:✱ The Unnatural History of the Sea✱ Silent Spring✱ The Sea Around Us✱ Under the Sea Wind✱ The Edge of the Sea✱ The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One✱ Song for the Blue Ocean✱ Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food✱ Chasing Coral documentary
  • Paul
    A very well written book about a very tough subject.Roberts manages to convey the crisis of the oceans that is almost on us with sparkling clarity. He doesn't over complicate the subject, but writes with an urgency and a passion.The chapters are quite gloomy when you consider how bad the seas are. He covers the amount of rubbish, in particular plastics that are in the sea, the steady acidification due to the water absorbing carbon dioxide relentl...
  • Andy
    Sobering but not alarmist audit of the state of our seas and oceans.
  • Elentarri
    In Ocean of Life, Callum Roberts shows how the oceans have changed - from prehistoric times to today. His focus is on man-made changes, dealing with such topics as overfishing, destructive fishing methods, plastic and chemical pollution, winds and currents, excessive noise, dead-zones, disease, farm-fish etc. The book is however, not all doom and gloom. Roberts dedicates the last quarter of his book to methods that may work to restore or at least...
  • Lars
    An clearly structured overview of all the stresses on the oceans of Earth. It is an amazing work for anyone with an interest in the ocean.The writer uses many different examples and this ensures rich reading, but I though he takes just a bit too long before moving in the solutions. And even in the solutions, I felt a bit short changed as the solution focus mainly on overfishing and the protection of habitat, rather than noise pollution, acidifica...
  • P D
    "Many people think of the oceans as a remote and incidental feature of our world. Their importance is felt in a physical sense, but people don't realize how much we all owe to life in the sea.... Humanity is in retreat all over the world."It seems incredible to me that anyone could doubt the reality of climate change, or the pressing need to use and reuse our resources more efficiently than we have been doing so since the beginning of recorded hi...
  • Daniel
    I very much enjoyed reading this book. However, as a novice in this field, there was a lot of information to consider and digest. So at points the book felt a touch heavy. Although this didn’t detract from Callum Roberts’ clear passion for the ocean and its protection. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in protecting and understanding our ocean. I will likely re-read this book.
  • Michaela (Kylia)
    In this book, Roberts does an amazing job of really showing just how for gone our environment is, however he offers factual information and wonderful suggestions on how to improve our seas!I also really enjoyed the appendix that gave amazing advice on purchasing and eating seafood responsibly. A must-read for any aspiring marine biologist or conservationist.
  • Maliea Ruby
    If you give even the smallest crap about the health of our oceans, you should read this book!
  • Lindsey.parks
    There was so much I didnt know.
  • David Kirchman
    It's only possible to read about the horrific things we are afflicting on the oceans because of the beautiful language and writing and the many fascinating stories of life in the oceans.
  • Leah
    ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men…’ In this book, Callum Roberts sets out to argue the case that man is damaging the oceans of the world in ways that may be irreversible if not addressed quickly and determinedly. Prof. Roberts track record as a marine biologist and environmentalist is impressive – as well as a Hardy fellowship in conservation biology at Harvard University, he was awarded a fellowship by the Pew Environment Group, (on...
  • Jo Bennie
    This is a clarion call to action by a Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York. Much of his prose is a slow read because he writes as a scientist, there are few quick soundbites, just a mountain of evidence with regard to how the seas have changed since humans evolved. He takes us through all the science of oceanography and marine biology, winds and currents, tides, deoxygenation, dead zones, disease and marine farming, history,...
  • Katherine
    In short: please read this. It's important to understand what's going on in our oceans.A recent issue of the Economist focused on this book, and as I was looking for a comprehensive overview of the state of our oceans, I picked it up at the library. The first part of The Ocean of Life goes into detail on the problems that humans have created: overfishing to the point that we don't even realize the abundance of fish that used to be in the sea; pol...
  • Andrew Dale
    This book is not really for the faint of heart. It is set in two parts: the first, "Changing Oceans", catalogues to exhaustive extent the many ways in which humanity is trashing the oceans that sustain the planet.Some of the topics covered include humanity's prehistoric relationship with the seas, fishing, effects of climate on the ocean including changing currents and rising sea levels, rising acidity, dead zones, the accumulation of trash in th...
  • Magpie
    The pressures of humanity are destroying our oceans and the creatures that live within. Have we passed the point of no return? Probably. Should this be a burning issue for every responsible government on the planet? Yes, but it probably won't be because that would involve admitting culpability and committing to a shared action plan for the future that would involve sacrifice and cost. To paraphrase sapiens Harari - "then why didn't humans abandon...
  • Enikő
    When I first read this book, I learned so much, I didn't even know where to start when talking about it! Since then, a lot of the issues it discusses have hit the headlines, such as microbeads, which I hadn't heard of before reading this book two years ago, but which I have heard of a lot since then.This is all so fascinating, and so IMPORTANT (not to mention often shocking!) that I reread it and took notes again. I suggest you do the same. You o...
  • Anne
    Hmm. This was a very hard book to rate, simply because of the subject matter. It is very well-written and presents thorough information about the history of our Earth and oceans, and how mankind has impacted our seas throughout time. Callum Roberts, a marine scientist, paints a grim picture of what could happen if we do not become more proactive with conservation efforts to make changes that will affect marine life, and ultimately, our own lives....