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Paperback review: Ocean Life, By Callum Roberts


Callum Roberts is a marine biologist and also a very good writer.

 The first chapter of this book is a truly sublime account of the four-and-a-half-billion-year history of the Earth’s oceans; after which Roberts goes on to write, with authoritative urgency, of the dangers facing the seas today. The death of coral reefs caused by rising temperatures. Overfishing resulting in the near-extinction of species.

The acidification of seawater, caused by C02 emissions. Plastic pollution (there’s six times more plastic, by weight, than plankton in the oceans). Underwater noise pollution, which wreaks havoc with the lives of whales, dolphins, and other marine life. In short, the oceans and everything that lives in them are in big trouble. But the book ends on a constructive, optimistic note, recommending realistic strategies of conservation and rebuilding.