Eye of the Albatross
Views of the Embattled Sea
By Carl Safina
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805062281, 416pp.)
Publication Date: May 2002
With one of the planet's most alluring birds as his guide, America's foremost chronicler of marine life captures the embattled ocean world.
On a wingspan of up to eleven feet, the albatross can travel as far as five thousand miles without stopping. But until recently, little was known about the albatross's far-flung flights. Now, award-winning author Carl Safina takes us to the higher latitudes to explain what marine animals like the albatross can tell us about the health of our oceans.
Eye of the Albatross takes us soaring to locales where whales, sea turtles, penguins, and shearwaters flourish in their own quotidian rhythms. Safina's guide and inspiration is a bird he calls Amelia, whose life he portrays in fascinating detail. Interwoven with recollections of whalers and famous explorers, Eye of the Albatross probes the unmistakable environmental impact of the encounters between man and marine life. Though no place remains untouched by us, fishing restrictions and habitat protection have signaled positive gains for albatrosses and several other marine animals. Safina's portrait combines the authority and drama of Rachel Carson with Peter Matthiessen's perceptive skill. The result is a transforming ride to the ends of the Earth and an urgent appeal to preserve the wild oceans while there is still time.
Carl Safina, author of The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur, Eye of the Albatross: Visions of Hope and Survival, Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World's Coasts and Beneath the Seas, and founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, was named by the Audubon Society one of the leading conservationists of the twentieth century. He's been profiled by The New York Times, and PBS's Bill Moyers. His books and articles have won him a Pew Fellowship, Guggenheim Award, Lannan Literary Award, John Burroughs Medal, and a MacArthur Prize. He lives in Amagansett, New York.