Dr George Hughes, retired CEO of Natal Parks Board and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, life-long turtle conservationist and friend of IOSEA, has recently published a memoir describing more than four decades of his personal experiences in conservation and research in South Africa and beyond.
Quoting from an introduction to the book's contents, “Between the Tides tells the remarkable story of the protection and conservation of sea turtles, as seen through the eyes of the author, whose interest in sea turtle research has taken him all over the world and involved him in exciting expeditions, scientific controversy, political unrest, the companionship of wonderful people, both scientific and conservationist, and survival by sheer luck.”
There are few people alive in the world who can claim to have been involved in turtle research and conservation from the very early days, and few with the wit that George possesses for telling a captivating story. Reading the first chapter of the book is enough to reveal that this is a very special publication indeed. It will be of interest to anyone with even a passing interest in the history of sea turtle conservation. It should be on the recommended reading list for any student aspiring to be, or looking for inspiration to be, a wildlife researcher/conservationist.
Between the Tides is both informative and entertaining -- full of nuggets of fascinating information about the biology and ecology of sea turtles of the Southwest Indian Ocean, as well as the 'politics' of international sea turtle conservation from days gone by. Punctuated with interesting anecdotes and numerous tales of humorous incidents worthy of a hearty chuckle, the book makes for very pleasurable reading .
Above all, the book paints a vivid picture of the natural environment of parts of the SW Indian Ocean as it existed some 40 years ago, much of which has probably been transformed beyond recognition in the intervening decades. George Hughes is one of the privileged pioneers still in a position to share a glimpse of this once relatively untouched world.
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I had the pleasure recently of being asked to provide an international perspective on sea turtle conservation at a gala event in Durban which celebrated 50 years of turtle conservation in South Africa, much of which was achieved under George's leadership.
‘Between the Tides’ was launched at the conclusion of that event and at another dedicated function in Port Elizabeth, with one more signing event to follow in Cape Town in the coming weeks.
I am sure the book will be well received by the international turtle community and will serve as an invaluable reference for years to come.
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Additional publication and order details for ‘Between the Tides’ can be found on the website of the publisher: Jacana.