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A Fascination for Fish: Adventures of an Underwater Pioneer

Biography / Memoir

By: David C Powell

339 pages, b/w photos

University of California Press

Paperback | Apr 2003 | #137510 | ISBN: 0520239172
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £26.99 $35/€31 approx
Hardback | Dec 2001 | #118751 | ISBN: 0520223667
Out of Print Details

About this book

This engaging memoir presents one man's lifelong love of the ocean and gives a highly personal, behind-the-scenes look at California's magnificent and innovative aquariums. David Powell, for many years curator of the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, tells the story of his life as a pioneering aquarist. From handling great white sharks to transporting delicate fish on bumpy airplanes to night diving for fish in the Indian Ocean, "A Fascination for Fish" describes many of the mind-boggling challenges that make modern aquariums possible and offers an intriguing glimpse beneath the ocean's surface.

Powell's career in diving and aquarium development goes back to the beginning of modern methods in both areas. From the early techniques he devised to get fish into aquariums alive and healthy to his later exploratory dive to a depth of eleven hundred feet in a two-person submarine, Powell's action-packed narrative inspires laughter, wonder, and philosophical reflection. "A Fascination for Fish" also includes many stories about Powell's diving adventures on the California coast, in the Sea of Cortez, and in many remote and exotic locations around the world.

'A Fascination for Fish' is an engaging look at a half-century of giving land-dwellers a glimpse of the mysterious underwater world.
- San Jose Mercury News


Foreword, by Sylvia A. Earle

1. Underwater Thoughts
2. Marineland of the Pacific
3. A First Look at Realism
4. The Road to Gonzaga Bay
5. The Steinhart Aquarium
6. Adventure in the Sea of Cortez
7. Sea World
8. Carnival in Mazatlan
9. The Lure of Sharks
10. Tanner Bank and Mexico Expo
11. The Revillagigedo Islands
12. Roundabout to Steinhart Aquarium
13. Search for a Living Fossil
14. To Chile, Easter Island, and Rarotonga
15. Monterey Bay Aquarium
16. Creating the Exhibits
17. Aquarists at Work
18.Collecting the Fish
19. Always Something New
20. The Open Ocean
21. Pelagic Fishes
22. A Million-Gallon Fishbowl
23. A New Direction

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David C. Powell consults on aquarium design around the world. He was director of live exhibit development at the Monterey Bay Aquarium until his retirement in 1997. He was also curator of the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco and curator of fishes at Sea World in San Diego.

Distinguished oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle is Chair of DOER Marine Operations, a designer of manned and robotic sub-sea systems.

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