Ocean News

The Save Our Seas Foundation teams up to publish a fresh take on conservation

By Lauren de Vos Escott, 21st June 2022

Punchy facts, quirky illustrations and a fervent desire to equip us with the knowledge we need to respect and protect sharks. These are the hallmarks of Save Our Sharks, a book recently published by the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) and author Xavier Casile.

The Save Our Sharks book. Photo by William Gammuto | © Save Our Seas Foundation

The project is a collaboration between the foundation, which brought insights in the form of scientific review, and Xavier’s writing experience, which brought a fresh eye to the shark conservation conundrum. While the easily recognisable style of Xavier infuses the pages, the bilingual format (French and English texts appear side by side) is peppered with graphic art that brings their serious message to new life. The result is shark science through a creative lens, with an approachable tone and pithy conservation messaging.

'N' is for 'Navigation' and explores how sharks are able to navigate our oceans. Artwork by Rebecca Traunig. Photo by William Gammuto | © Save Our Seas Foundation

Art plays a large role in conveying new meaning throughout the book. The SOSF is particularly proud of this creative effort, given that the project supported the work of student artists at the École supérieure de bande dessinée et d’illustration de Genève. The students were tasked with brainstorming exciting ways of illustrating concepts from each chapter to convey the central theme. The final images in the book are those selected from a review process and the result is a varied and fun take on traditional shark conservation imagery. The SOSF typically champions the work of young scientists, but this was a fruitful foray into new territory to encourage a conservation focus within a non-scientific, emerging professional sector.

Left: 'O' is for 'Ocean' by Dylan Iacovelli, it looks at how sharks of all shapes and sizes are found in various habitats across our oceans. Right: 'F' is for 'Fossils' by Jeremie Marguerat, and looks at the various species of prehistoric sharks that roamed our oceans, and the traces they left behind.

In alphabetical chapters with titles that vary from the factual to the fantastic, the book covers everything you need to know about sharks to be better informed, advocate for their protection and offer up your own dinnertime serving of facts to friends and family. Fins, Gills, Camouflage, Teeth – there are several chapters that detail how sharks function and what makes them extraordinarily adapted for survival in the ocean. Other chapters focus on human–shark issues, detail incredible information about specific species and discuss sites around the world where sharks have proved important or been prioritised.

'H' is for 'Humans' by Irvin Vaucher, and explores our relationship with sharks as we sit at the top of the food chain. Photo by William Gammuto | © Save Our Seas Foundation

By buying a copy in local bookstores from 20 June 2022, readers across Switzerland can take advantage of an important opportunity for landlocked ocean lovers curious about sharks to connect with the marine realm. With its headquarters in Geneva, the SOSF is proud to be based in Switzerland, providing this inland nation with a link to the ocean and reaching out across its borders to protect sharks in all the global oceans. Readers around the world will be able to purchase the book online here.

Left: 'W' is for "Western Cape by Rebecca Traunig, this illustration shows how the Shark Spotters have been able to successfully shift the negative perceptions of sharks. Right: 'M' is for 'Manta' by Lidia Mathez, to illustrate that manta's and sharks belong to the same family; chondrichthyans.