Chasing Shadows

by | Aug 8, 2023 | Fish | 0 comments

A collaboration between a scientist and a science writer, Chasing Shadows is the remarkable story of the resurgence of the white shark population in the western North Atlantic told largely through the eyes of shark biologist Dr. Greg Skomal, who found himself in the middle of it. At its heart, it is a too rare conservation success story about restoring an apex predator to an ecosystem, that provides a profound, new understanding of a beast so notoriously fierce that it’s nearly impossible to imagine how vulnerable it truly is. Illustrations and maps by scientific illustrator Karen Talbot.

Greg has spent decades on a quest to tag, track, and demystify this animal, using every high- and low-tech method at his disposal, including those he invented, and he frequently comes face-to-face with these shadows of the deep. He leaves no stone unturned in his pursuit of the secrets behind the largely unknown lives of these charismatic creatures and in his duty to solve the intricate puzzle of how humans can coexist alongside them.

“Vividly written, gorgeously developed, and as terrifyingly suspenseful as a dorsal fin slicing across the surface, this as-told-to adventure by Skomal and Talbot is far more than a brilliant autobiography of a marine biologist, on the same rolling decks as Eugenie Clark, Jacques Costeau, and Sylvia Earle, because Chasing Shadows is also the story of our profound and critical cultural relationship with sharks and how the controversial return of an apex predator to the North Atlantic might just be the conservation story that we all desperately need to read right now, at sea and on land.”
Richard J. King, author of Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby-Dick and Ocean Bestiary, and visiting professor at Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA

“The fascinating behind-the-scenes story of the re-emergence of great white sharks on Cape Cod—a tale of science, high emotion, and drama from the man at the epicenter of it all. Chasing Shadows is an absolute page-turner!”
— Brian Skerry, wildlife photographer and filmmaker

“Chasing Shadows is steeped in awe for a creature both dangerous and endangered, scrutinized and elusive, reviled and revered. Greg Skomal and Ret Talbot ask us to consider all of these things at once, for therein lies the possibility for both humans and sharks to thrive along these shores.”
— Catherine Schmitt, author of The President’s Salmon and science communication specialist at Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

Karen, who did the illustrations for the book, offers some wonderful personalization options through her website; you can find and purchase the book HERE.

You can learn more about writer Ret Talbot (who sometimes writes for!) HERE

Editor’s note: Thank you so much to Ret Talbot for sharing these statements and images, and for doing such important work!

  • xeniaforever

    As senior editor here at reefs, I get to work with scientists from all over the world, and have made some wonderful friends in the industry! I also write for the site, and am the office manager at FRESH New London and the mother of two brilliant, talented young women.

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