Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads

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#StevesLibrary: The Deep

As you can probably tell, I’m no marine biologist or oceanographer. However this doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the vast array of life that the oceans support. I was born and grew up on the South Essex coast so I was always exploring the shore searching for crabs and other wildlife as a child. Going back to my previous point, Alex Rogers certainly is a marine biologist and is viewed as one of the most eminent at that. As a researcher, Rogers has experienced and witnessed what very few have through his research and exploration of the deep ocean (which you can probably tell from the title of this book). The Deep celebrates the wonders of the darkest depths of the oceans, summarises Rogers’ own research and explores the threats this out of sight, out of mind world faces.

I was immediately hooked after picking up the book and reading the first few pages. Rogers’ writing style us one that is both informative and accessible, he’s able to tell you a story whilst also pointing out why it is relevant in the grand scheme of things. His enthusiasm for his work also shines through whilst discussing the may voyages he’s been on to explore new areas of deep ocean from hydrothermal vents and the extraordinary creatures that call them home. It’s clear that he still has the same awe and wonder of the natural world as he did as a child (which is how we stars the books). His scientific careers has been one of collaboration and success for the oceans, I hope mine is just as successful the the animals and habitats I love.

There is also anger and frustration in his voice when discussing the ways in which humans have altered the oceans forever. Be this through overfishing, plastic pollution or coral bleaching (linked to climate change). Rogers examines all of these in detail and outlines how we’re all to blame from this blatant disregard for the oceans and more importantly how we can reverse it. He makes multiple references to Blue Planet II, a series I remember watching at the back-end of 2017 whilst studying for my Masters. At the time I didn’t appreciate how much of an impact it would have, as I was already aware of a lot of the issues raised (particularly in regards to plastic pollution) but for the general public it was a true eye opener. The Attenborough Effect has seen the banning of plastic microbeads and other action on plastic waste. Perhaps there is hope yet.

The Deep also shows other examples of how ocean habitats and the wildlife they contain bounces back. There is a growing sense of in Roger’s writing which is infectious, I too hope human start to value the oceans properly so it has time to recover. I’d recommend The Deep to anyone looking for an informative introduction to a world very few of us will ever experience.

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