Seasearch Observer's Guide to Marine Life of Britain and Ireland UK ID, OK?
After learning to dive, the next thing divers want to know is what they're looking at. This book is designed for just that, identifying as it does a couple of hundred species that we can all find while diving around the coastline of Britain and Ireland. Seasearch is a volunteer diving project in which amateur divers contribute records of what they have seen on dives. The title of the book makes it clear who the primary audience is - it's designed to accompany the Seasearch Observers' course, where volunteers are trained in basic marine life identification and how to participate in the project. But you don't have to go on the course to enjoy and benefit from the book. The average diver with no specialist knowledge of marine biology can easily understand the text. The layout follows the established and successful MSC/Seasearch formula of good-quality colour photographs supported by maps and icons to show just where each species can be found. The layout is both attractive and easy to use. If you're new to diving and want to kick-start your diving bookshelf, this will be hard to beat. It is attractively priced, so even if you are an experienced diver with a few marine-life books, it could still be worth adding to your collection. Having made good use of the guide when writing up your diving logbook, it may even motivate you to join a Seasearch course or dive trip. John Liddiard
Seasearch Observer's Guide to Marine Life of Britain and Ireland by Chris Wood, Marine Conservation Society, ISBN 0948150467. Softback, 160pp, ?14.95