These days 265 individual species (plus 30 indeterminate ones) are included in the book. One of the best things about its approach is that aspects of marine life such as size (which is expressed in relation to humans), habitat, distribution, depth and conservation status are all shown using at-a-glance icons and tiny outline maps. And you don’t need to worry if you forget what the icons mean, because they’re all clearly displayed on the semi-gatefold front cover, which provides a handy bookmark. Brilliant!
Everything has been considered from the point of view of convenience for divers, from the as-you-see-them-under-water photos to the “confidence icons”, which tell you whether a species can be ID’d by sight alone, is commonly confused with other species or requires expert help. That’s useful for divers tagging their own photos.
Finally, Chris Wood is a well-respected marine biologist and his descriptions read as if they come from a well-informed fellow-diver rather than a robot, which always helps.
British-waters divers won’t go far wrong with this handsome book as their guide.