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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
can anyone recommend a decent book for identifying UK sea species? I want one with photos not drawings.

Thanks
 

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bigcyprinus;

Often drawings are a better way of identifying species than photographs (birds, butterflies etc) although each can complement the other, but you must have your reason for stating no drawings. However, for what it is worth to yourself and others, I do recommend the following two books, however no photographs, firstly the very excellent and comprehensive "Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe" over 350 species described by Alwyne Wheeler first published in 1978. The illustrations together with the narratives very clearly indicate how to differentiate between, for example, members of the cod and hake family and members of the wrasse genre. If anyone can suggest a better book for fish identification then I would like to know, I am watching this thread with interest.

Secondly, not so good for identifying but still an extremely interesting catalogue is "North Atlantic Seafood" by Alan Davidson first published in 1979, almost 500 pages the latter half of the book devoted to recipes.

I have recently "de-cluttered" and sent many angling books to the local charity shop, not these 2 and several others though!
 

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bigcyprinus;

Often drawings are a better way of identifying species than photographs (birds, butterflies etc) although each can complement the other, but you must have your reason for stating no drawings. However, for what it is worth to yourself and others, I do recommend the following two books, however no photographs, firstly the very excellent and comprehensive "Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe" over 350 species described by Alwyne Wheeler first published in 1978. The illustrations together with the narratives very clearly indicate how to differentiate between, for example, members of the cod and hake family and members of the wrasse genre. If anyone can suggest a better book for fish identification then I would like to know, I am watching this thread with interest.

Secondly, not so good for identifying but still an extremely interesting catalogue is "North Atlantic Seafood" by Alan Davidson first published in 1979, almost 500 pages the latter half of the book devoted to recipes.

I have recently "de-cluttered" and sent many angling books to the local charity shop, not these 2 and several others though!
Is that the same book iv suggested it's certainly the same author ?
 

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bigcyprinus/mickeyfelley;

Same author but different books. I have just absented myself from WSF to go online - both books are available. I am returning to google to look up the author - he must have been an expert in the field. Am interested to know why bigcyprinus specified "photographs only", not that it is really my business!

Regards GCM

Back again,

The author was (he died 10 years ago) indeed an expert in this field of fish identification, may I suggest that you google his name and read more about him. Thanks bigcuprinus for this conversation - I hope that you find exactly what you are looking for.

GCM
 

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I agree with GCM "Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe" is the definitive book for fish identification. As far as I'm aware it is the one used by marine biologists although the distributions have changed with rising sea temperatures. Although the illustrations are just line drawings there are lots of good pictures on the web which help.

"The pocket guide to Saltwater Fishes of Britain and Europe" has coloured illustrations but is not as comprehensive. You also can't show all the colour variations.

Another book I rate is "Fishes of the Sea" by john and Gillian Lythgoe which has some quite good photographs and is very good for Mediterranean fish.

No one book covers sea fish identification completely. I have these books plus another five.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
bigcyprinus/mickeyfelley;

Same author but different books. I have just absented myself from WSF to go online - both books are available. I am returning to google to look up the author - he must have been an expert in the field. Am interested to know why bigcyprinus specified "photographs only", not that it is really my business!

Regards GCM

Back again,

The author was (he died 10 years ago) indeed an expert in this field of fish identification, may I suggest that you google his name and read more about him. Thanks bigcuprinus for this conversation - I hope that you find exactly what you are looking for.

GCM
My reason for saying photos only is I have a book ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anglers-Boo...d=1452726533&sr=1-1&keywords=british+sea+fish) already with drawings and they lack enough detail especially with the wrasses and mini species.

I though photos would be better but I will look at the books you've mentioned. Maybe I shouldn't be so hasty to rule out drawings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The pocket guide to saltwater fishes of Britain and Europe by Alwyne Wheeler.
Over 150 full colour illustrations
Just bought this second had on Amazon for £0.01. For 1p it's worth a gamble! I'll let you know what I think when it arrives!
 

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I did looked at a new book fairly recently but the photos were poor as the fish had been well squashed in a trawl. I'm sure there are many fine pictures taken by anglers which would be significantly better. I've got quite a few myself and there are lots of excellent shots on the web.

These pictures show the problem of colour illustrations

 

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I just had a thought forget the book, have a look at Scott Hutchison's blog somethingfishygoingon and you'll get a real picture of just about every fish & he's a master at identification
 

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Two good modern books are Identification Guide to the Inshore Fish of the British Isles by Peter Henderson, and A Field Guide to the Marine Fishes of Wales and Adjacent Waters by Paul Kay and Frances Dipper. The former is better but more expensive and the latter in spite of the title isn't just about fish found in Wales.
 

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Two good modern books are Identification Guide to the Inshore Fish of the British Isles by Peter Henderson, and A Field Guide to the Marine Fishes of Wales and Adjacent Waters by Paul Kay and Frances Dipper. The former is better but more expensive and the latter in spite of the title isn't just about fish found in Wales.
I would second the recommendation of Peter Henderson's book, and is a far better option for anglers than Paul Kay's book. Henderson's book has clearer pictures and identification features, and illustrates the differences between similar fishes.
ISBN: 978-1-904690-63-4
More details at www.britishseafish.com
 

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What lets Peter Henderson's book down is the poor photographs of some fish which are obviously well dead and don't look at all like live fish. It could have been so much better with quality photographs.
 

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I was given Paul Kay's book for Christmas, I would recommend it as it does give some useful detail on identification but I havn't seen the others mentioned yet.
 
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