Fishes of the Open Ocean: A Natural History and Illustrated Guide (Hardcover)

Fishes of the Open Ocean: A Natural History and Illustrated Guide By Julian Pepperell, Guy Harvey (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Julian Pepperell, Guy Harvey (Illustrator)


Between the surface of the sea and depths of two hundred meters lies a remarkable range of fish, generally known as pelagics, or open-ocean dwellers. These creatures are among the largest, fastest, highest-leaping, and most migratory fish on the entire planet. Beautifully adapted to their world, they range from tiny drift fish and plankton-straining whale sharks to more streamlined predators such as tuna, marlin, sailfish, and wahoo.

Fishes of the Open Ocean, from leading marine biologist and world authority on the subject Julian Pepperell, is the first book to comprehensively describe these fishes and explore the complex and often fragile world in which they live. In what will be the definitive book on the subject for years to come—and, with over three hundred color images, the most lavishly produced as well—Pepperell details the environment and biology of every major species of fish that inhabits the open ocean, an expanse that covers 330 million cubic miles and is the largest aquatic habitat on the Earth. The first section of the book introduces the various evolutionary forms these fish have taken, as well as the ways in which specific species interact and coevolve with others in the food web. A chapter on commercial and sport fisheries explores the human element in this realm and considers such issues as sustainability, catch-and-release initiatives, and the risks of extinction.

The second section of the book provides species accounts of open ocean dwellers organized by group, with overviews and general descriptions that are inclusive of range and distribution, unique physiological and morphological attributes, and the role of each species within its ecosystem. Global distribution maps, original illustrations from renowned artist and scientist Guy Harvey, and truly stunning images from some of the world’s leading underwater photographers round out this copiously illustrated volume.

About the Author

Julian Pepperell, PhD, is one of the best-known marine biologists in the world and a leading authority on marlin, sailfish, tuna, and sharks. He has conducted research on these fishes in partnership with governments across the globe for over thirty years and is an adjunct professor at a number of universities. He is past president of the Australian Society for Fish Biology and recipient of the prestigious Conservation Award from the International Game Fish Association. Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, and conservationist. In 1999 he collaborated with the Oceanographic Center of Nova Southeastern University to create the Guy Harvey Research Institute, providing scientific information for effective conservation and restoration of fish biodiversity.

Praise For…

“In this gorgeous book, ichthyologist Pepperell introduces famous and lesser known fish to the general reader. Part One describes the general environment of the open ocean, the role the fish play in the ecology, their general biology, and their importance to humans as sport or food fish. Part Two is a guide to the fish—and what fish these are! How many of us know that a blue marlin can weigh over 1,800 pounds? Also covered are mackerels, jacks, sharks, rays, and other lesser-known species.”

— Booklist

"This book is far more than just a description of pelagic, or open ocean, fish. It is also a celebration of their colourful lives and hunting skills. Each species account is illustrated with stunning images—quite an achievement, given that tracking and photographing fish in 'blue water' is, technically, extremely difficult. An extra dimension is added by Guy Harvey's exquisite paintings. . . . The text itself is a mixture of the fascinating and the factual. Initial chapters provide a useful background to the open ocean habitat, the form and function of the fish that inhabit it, and their interactions with humans."
— Frances Dipper

"Pepperell begins with short discussions of food webs, morphologic adaptations that have independently evolved in several groups, and the impacts of commercial and sports fisheries. The remainder of the book summarizes the identification, distribution, and biology of all major open ocean species, including billfish, tuna, mackerels, jacks, and pelagic sharks and rays. Harvey has painted each species; many are also presented in informative underwater photographs."
— Science

“For beginning scholars and avid anglers, this volume will undoubtedly teach them about the biology and ecology of the diverse assemblages of open ocean fishes. But for all, including seasoned researchers, the detailed illustrations and color photographs are much more than just a delight to look at, they offer the opportunity to differentiate the closely related species without compromising the innate beauty of each. Taken together, this book will be a wonderful resource for anyone generally interested in these fishes.”

— Diego Bernal
Product Details
ISBN: 9780226655390
ISBN-10: 0226655393
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2010
Pages: 272
Language: English