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Book Review

Reef Fishes of Hong Kong

[Yvonne Sadovy & Andrew Cornish]

by Robin Kennish, ERM

"It is indeed a pleasure to finally have available an attractive and informative guide to reef fishes from the northern sector of the South China Sea" are the words from the eminent ichthyologist JE Randall at the beginning of this book. I have to say that I totally agree with him as this book services the purpose of the local scientist and people with a keen interest in knowing more about Hong Kong’s marine environment. During the last year this book has served my purpose in a variety of ways.

As an environmental consultant many of the projects I work on are Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Reviews. These involve trawls of the available literature to classify habitats according to ecological/fisheries value and often entail surveys, the scales of which depend on the nature of the project. For inshore environments the information presented in this book is invaluable for identifying fish and obtaining some useful information on their behaviour and distribution.

Aside from people with a professional interest in using the book I have observed recently that many members of Hong Kong’s burgeoning sport diving community have the book and refer extensively to it during both training and diving. Recently, I had the opportunity to put the book to the test with a group of divers from a variety of background, including both scientists and non-scientists. All agreed that the book had helped them finally put a name to "those fish" they always saw when diving in Hong Kong but could not put a name to due to the lack of suitable reference texts. This added value to their dive and made the whole experience more rewarding.

If you are reading Porcupine! and you know how to swim then get yourself down to your local bookshop and order a copy. The underwater life in Hong Kong has never seemed so interesting.





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