To see accurate pricing, please choose your delivery country.
United States
All Shops
EU Shipping Update - read more

British Wildlife

8 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

Subscriptions from £33 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

Subscriptions from £22 per year
Good Reads  Marine & Freshwater Biology  Fishes  Sharks & Rays

A Sea Monster's Tale In Search of the Basking Shark

By: Colin Speedie(Author), Sarah Fowler(Foreword By)
296 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; b/w illustrations, b/w maps
A Sea Monster's Tale
Click to have a closer look
  • A Sea Monster's Tale ISBN: 9780957394681 Hardback Mar 2017 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1 week
Price: £24.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles
Images Additional images
A Sea Monster's TaleA Sea Monster's TaleA Sea Monster's TaleA Sea Monster's TaleA Sea Monster's Tale

About this book

Colin Speedie's new book takes us from swashbuckling hunts of giant sharks by reckless individuals with makeshift harpoons, through an age of mass slaughter, to the author's personal shark-tracking adventures in the name of conservation.

There are few marine creatures as spectacular as the Basking Shark. At up to 11 metres in length and seven tonnes in weight, this colossal, plankton-feeding fish is one of the largest in the world, second only to the whale shark. Historically, Basking Sharks were a familiar sight in the northern hemisphere – off the coasts of Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the USA, for example. In an 18th Century world without electricity, they became the focus of active hunting for their huge livers containing large amounts of valuable oil, primarily used in lamps.

Catch numbers were small enough to leave populations largely intact, but during the 20th Century a new breed of hunter joined the fray, some driven as much by a need for adventure as for financial gain. With improved equipment and experience, they exploited the shark on an industrial scale that drastically reduced numbers, leading to localised near-extinction in some areas.

From the 1970's onward a new generation took to the seas, this time with conservation in mind to identify where the shark might still be found in the waters around the British Isles, employing new technologies to solve long-standing mysteries about the behaviour of this elusive creature. Using the best of both old and new research techniques, the case was built to justify the species becoming one of the most protected sharks in the oceans.

Today, the Basking Shark is a much-loved cornerstone of our natural heritage. There are positive signs that the population has stabilised and may even be slowly recovering from the damage of the past, proving that timely conservation measures can be effective.

Join us on a journey amidst wild seas, places, people and conservation history in the battle to protect this iconic creature – a true sea monster's tale.

Watch an introduction by the author below:



- Foreword by Sarah Fowler 5
- Introduction 7
- The Early History 13
- Anthony Watkins, the Pioneer in Scotland 44
- The Post-War Hunt 71
- The Flag Drops 84
- Reality Bites 98
- In Action at Last 107
- The 1947 Season 128
- The Independent Operators 142
- The Hunt Beyond Scotland 157
- We Set Sail 168
- The Battle Begins 182
- The Early Surveys 197
- Seeking Answers About a Sea Monster 220
- The Best of Years: 2005-2006 228
- The End of the Line 238
- Where Do We Go From Here? 254

Sources 267
Acknowledgements 282
Index 284

Customer Reviews

By: Colin Speedie(Author), Sarah Fowler(Foreword By)
296 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; b/w illustrations, b/w maps
Current promotions
BW SubscriptionBest of WinterNHBS Moth TrapBat Surveys for Professional Ecologists