Book Review: Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest

Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest by Andy Lamb and Bernard Hanby

398 pages

Published 2005 by Harbour

I had this book in my Amazon cart months before I placed the order. Why? Well, I simply couldn’t justify the price tag. At a whopping $56 it was hard to image how much value I could really get out of it. It was only after I purchased the much more affordable and pocket-sized “Pacific Reef & Shore” and realized how much I actually did use a book to identify marine life, that I decided it would be an investment.

Over the course of a year I have become more and more fascinated by the underwater world and the marine life in it, so much so that I’ve begun to hunger for the names that identify these creatures and that therefore help me understand them. And, unless you’re lucky enough to dive day in and day out with a marine biologist, you’re unlikely to learn what you’re seeing without the help of photo identities.

Andy Lamb (the author) and Bernard Hanby (the photographer) have compiled a comprehensive guide to the marine life of the Pacific Northwest. And when I say comprehensive, I mean blow-your-mind-away 400 pages of full-color images and descriptions. It’s thanks to this book that I’m now able to identify much of what I see in the waters of Oregon and Washington. This has enabled me to research some of my favorite marine creatures in even more depth. Nudibranchs anyone?

While I have not read this book cover-to-cover, I have paged through the entire tome at least a dozen times by now, scouring it for images of what I’ve seen on recent dives.

For anyone scuba diving in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t recommend this enough. It’s literally, the best book out there.

Written by Candice Landau
I'm an active Divemaster, a lover of marine life and all efforts related to marine conservation, a newly certified tech diver and a member of various scuba organizations in the Pacific Northwest. I write articles related to diving and spend my non-diving time writing and providing digital marketing services to nonprofits and businesses.