Read our interview with David Shiffman.
Get submerged in the amazing world of sharks! Your expert host, award-winning marine biologist Dr David Shiffman, will show you how – and why – we should protect these mysterious, misunderstood guardians of the ocean.
Sharks are some of the most fascinating, most ecologically important, most threatened, and most misunderstood animals on Earth. More often feared than revered, their role as predators of the deep have earned them a reputation as a major threat to humans. But the truth is that sharks are not a danger to us – they're in danger from us.
In Why Sharks Matter, marine conservation biologist Dr. David Shiffman explains why it's crucial that we overcome our misconceptions and rise above cinematic jump scares to embrace sharks as the imperilled, amazing, elegant, and critically important creatures they really are. Sharing his own fascinating experiences working with sharks, Shiffman tells us
- why healthy shark populations are a must for supporting ocean ecosystems – and the coastal economies that depend on them
- why we're in danger of losing many shark species forever
- what scientists, conservationists, and readers can do to help save these iconic predators
- why so much of what you've heard about sharks and how to save them is wrong
Exploring the core tenets of shark conservation science and policy, Shiffman synthesizes decades of scientific research and policymaking, weaving it into a narrative full of humour and adventure. Touching on everything from Shark Week to shark fin soup, overfishing to marine sanctuaries, Shiffman reveals why sharks are in trouble, why we should care, and how we can save them. Perfect for shark enthusiasts, Why Sharks Matter is an approachable, informative guide to the world of shark conservation and the passionate, fascinating, brilliant people who work to understand and protect our oceans. This fun read will have you looking at sharks with a fresh perspective and an understanding that the survival of sharks is crucial to the survival of another apex predator – ourselves.
Chapter 1. Shark basics, and fun facts to keep you reading
Chapter 2. Sharks are not a threat to humans
Chapter 3. The ecological significance of sharks
Chapter 4. What are the threats to sharks, and how threatened are they?
Chapter 5. How can we protect sharks?
Chapter 6. Target-Based Shark conservation and management policies
Chapter 7. Limit-based shark conservation and management policies
Chapter 8. What are scientists doing to help threatened sharks?
Chapter 9. What are environmentalists doing to help?
Chapter 10. How can you help sharks? (And what to consider NOT doing.)
David Shiffman (Silver Spring, MD) is a marine conservation biologist at Arizona State University. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, National Geographic, and Scientific American, and he writes a monthly column in Scuba Diving Magazine. He can be found on Twitter where he's always happy to answer questions about sharks.
"Shiffman says he wants 'to teach you why sharks are remarkable and awe-inspiring animals, why we're better off with sharks than we are without them, and what you can do to help protect the alarming and increasing number of sharks of conservation concern.' He succeeds on all counts."
– San Francisco Chronicle
"The argument of Shiffman's book is that we should do a better job of protecting sharks, and his method is to dip analysis and policy recommendations in a sugar coating of cool facts. For Shiffman, our inability to conceptualize relative risk is both an ecological and aesthetic tragedy, undermining conservation efforts while preventing us from exulting in the glory of sharks – with their dermal denticles, their total lack of bones and their ability to hear an injured fish from a mile away."
– Molly Young, New York Times
"Whether this book makes you pause and reflect on your perception of sharks, or teaches you some new facts about these predators, Shiffman hopes he has shed light on human side of shark conservation through this work."
"[Shiffman] delivers the book he was born to write."
– The Revelator
"Join award-winning marine biologist Dr. David Shiffman in an approachable, humorous and adventure-packed narrative about sharks – the mysterious guardians of the ocean. You'll learn why we should overcome our misconceptions regarding these creatures, delve deep into Shiffman's own experiences with sharks, and explore decades of scientific research and policymaking related to shark conservation."
– Scuba Diving
"Providing a wealth of information about a vitally important group of animals, this topical and accessible book will attract a broad audience."
– Jeffrey C. Carrier, Albion College, author of Sharks of the Shallows: Coastal Species in Florida and the Bahamas
"David Shiffman shines in this enjoyable, illuminating, and important book. One of David's strengths is communicating with generosity, accuracy, insight, wit, and heart, and here he has succeeded in producing a book that presents sound principles of shark science and conservation (and more) and, at the same time, is highly readable."
– Daniel C. Abel, Coastal Carolina University, author of Shark Biology and Conservation: Essentials for Educators, Students, and Enthusiasts
"Why Sharks Matter is a smart, engaging, and persuasive book that is perfect for readers who have a serious interest in marine conservation. With one third of all sharks and rays currently facing extinction due to overfishing, this timely volume is poised to make a positive and authentic impact."
– Robert W. Shumaker, Indianapolis Zoo, editor of Saving Endangered Species: Lessons in Wildlife Conservation from Indianapolis Prize Winners
"Follow David Shiffman's humorous and educational journey into the underwater world of sharks. A dedicated scientist and a masterful storyteller, he advocates for the conservation of these misunderstood predators at the same time as he dispels many longstanding shark myths."
– Hanne Strager, The Whale, Norway, author of A Modest Genius: The Story of Darwin's Life and how His Ideas Changed Everything