Southern Africa’s coast is the meeting place of two ocean giants the Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean and the Agulhas of the Indian Ocean. They clash fiercely t the continent’s southern tip, dividing the region into two contrasting marine ecosystems that rank among the richest, most biologically diverse and oceanographically complex on the planet. The waters of the west coast are fed by the Benguela, a cold current that accounts for the enormous volume of marine life found here, while those of the east coast warmed by the Agulhas current are noted for their huge variety of life forms. Currents of Contrast Life in Southern Africa’s Two Oceans first introduces the realm of the Benguela, where you will encounter the ocean’s ultimate predator, the great white shark. Here, the nutrient rich waters wash over rocky reefs, and vast kelp forests thrive, providing food for diverse animals and plants, among them Cape clawless otters. In the realm of the Agulhas, you can explore the Knysna estuary and its most charismatic inhabitant, the Knysna seahorse. Follow the sardine run on the east coast and witness the suite of predators that feasts on this silver cornucopia.
Currents of Contrast is accessible, informative and entertaining, providing the detail and substance that will reward the serious naturalist. Photographs appearing in this book were taken specifically for the publication and many feature behaviour never seen or photographed before.
About the Authors
Claudio Velásquez Rojas
Claudio Velásquez Rojas obtained his BSc and MSc in Chile, and travelled to South Africa in the late 1980s. In 1993 he received a PhD in zoology for his research into wading birds in the Berg River estuary, and subsequently spent many years researching the ecology of rocky shores. Claudio now works for François Odendaal Productions as a film producer and director, specializing in projects that promote sustainable living and the need to revive the close link between humans and the environment.
He has filmed and directed several documentary series for the SABC such as The Last Edens, Secrets of Nature and A Last Glimpse. His photographs have been published in magazines such as Africa Geographic, BBC Wildlife, and National Geographic, and in books such as The Last Edens of Africa and Aspects of Life.
Thomas P. Peschak is a marine biologist at the University of Cape Town’s Marine Biology Research Institute. He leads ongoing research into abalone poaching, kelp forest ecology, Cape Clawless Otters and the entho-marine biology knowledge of traditional cultures.
He is an experienced field biologist and research diver and has worked in Africa, Central America, the Middle East and in the South Pacific. Thomas is an award winning natural history photographer and writer specializing in underwater and marine wildlife subject across Africa. He is a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife magazine and to Africa Geographic.
African Wildlife (Prof. Charles Griffiths)
"In short, this is a magnificent and inspirational addition to the literature on marine life in the region and a worthy successor to the classic and recently out of print Living shores of southern Africa. I strongly recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in South African marine life."
Mercury (Billy Suter)
"This is a very impressive coffee table book, offering a comprehensive look at life in Southern Africa's two oceans."
"This book is highly recommended, and it will convert many readers into avid marine conservationists."
Fishing Industry News
"It makes an immediate impact, the striking cover invites the reader to open the book, and to be lost forever in the pages!"