Britain's Sea Mammals: a book with a distinctly Shetland flavour

by Misa Hay -

A book with a national scope but a distinctly Shetland flavour has just been published by Princeton University Press. Britain's Sea Mammals is the essential field guide to all the sea mammals - whales, dolphins, porpoises, and seals - found in coastal Britain, and all three of the co-authors are part of the team at local award-winning eco-tourism business Shetland Wildlife.

With Shetland being one of the very best places in the UK to encounter sea mammals, it is no surprise that Shetland Wildlife's Jon Dunn and Hugh Harrop should be at the heart of this comprehensive book. Lavishly illustrated with over 100 stunning photographs and close to 40 detailed and beautiful illustrations of 34 species of sea mammals, introductory chapters look at sea mammal biology and ecology, and how, when, and where these creatures can be spotted. Species accounts highlight key identification characteristics and include information on status, habitat requirements, and distribution.

Shetland Wildlife naturalist guide Jon said, 

“This has been a labour of love – whether it's with a group of delighted guests, or from my kitchen window, an encounter with cetaceans in Shetland is always a thrill. I'm incredibly fortunate that living here in Shetland provides so many opportunities to observe cetaceans and seals. On more than one occasion I found myself writing sections of the book while watching Harbour Porpoises from my house!”

Shetland Wildlife owner and award-winning wildlife photographer Hugh added, 

“Many of the images in Britain's Sea Mammals were taken here in the waters around our coast. Opportunities to see these incredible animals at close quarters come along surprisingly frequently here, and we try to make sure that the news gets out quickly via our Facebook page so as many people as possible in Shetland can share in the magic. With the information in the book about where and when to look for sea mammals all around the coast of Britain and Ireland, we hope that we can help open up similar encounters for many more people – but we still think that Shetland is the best place of all to look!”

“Britain's Sea Mammals” by Jon Dunn, Robert Still and Hugh Harrop (- ISBN-10: 0691156603 | ISBN-13: 978-0691156606) is available for £12.95 at all good bookshops and can also be ordered online here.