Call of the Blue

Philip Hamilton

Watching and recording the gradual dismantling of life, beauty, and diversity in our oceans is a tortuous experience for scientists. Our oceans function as earth's organs and our survival depends on their health.
Date Published :
January 2019
Publisher :
Paul Holberton Publishing
Illustration :
300 color illustrations
No associated books available.


Watching and recording the gradual dismantling of life, beauty, and diversity in our oceans is a torturous experience for scientists. Our oceans function as earth’s organs and our survival depends on their health. Yet in the last fifty years half of coral reefs have disappeared, only 10% of large fish remain and many species are at the brink of collapse. Unsustainable fishing practices, pollution – including 20 million tons of plastic entering the oceans yearly – and rising temperatures are continued threats. Even as the sense of urgency to save our oceans continues to grow, at the time we publish this book, an estimate of only 2% of all global philanthropic and charitable donations go to protecting the environment. Of this, only a tiny fraction go toward supporting and safeguarding our oceans.

Brimming with spectacular, full-page photography of underwater scenes from the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and Arctic oceans and many seas, Call of the Blue tells the stories of positive, focused people who are working to save our oceans. The first book of its kind, Call of the Blue unites more than 100 modern-day explorers, sailors, free divers, filmmakers, lawmakers, and conservationists who talk about their lives, passions, and exploits on, in, or under the water. Call of the Blue demonstrates how the efforts of individuals and communities can inspire and drive change.

Notable contributors include United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, explorer and BBC presenter Paul Rose, Danish environmentalist and Director General of the IUCN Inger Andersen, French photojournalist and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and American marine biologist Edith Widder (to name only a few). Contributors include hardworking men and women from around the world including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, France, India, Mozambique, Mauritius, Ecuador, and more.

Alongside these passionate and necessary voices, Philip Hamilton’s mesmerizing images of reefs, blue whales, saltwater crocodiles, manatees, sea lions, sailfish, penguin, mantas, jellyfish, turtles, sharks, pygmy sea horses, and more provide readers a glimpse of some of the world’s most stunning underwater locations, bringing into sharp focus all we are at risk to lose.


Agardy, Tundi (USA)

Founder and Executive Director of Sound Seas

Anderson, Inger (DENMARK) 

Environmentalist and Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature  

Arthus-Bertrand, Yann (FRANCE)
French photojournalist, author and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador

Ballesteros, Kike (SPAIN)
Field naturalist based in Spain; part of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas scientific team

Braungart, Michael (GERMANY)
Chemist, environmentalist and co-founder of the ‘cradle-to-cradle’ concept

Brendl, Stefanie (USA)
Shark conservationist and driving force behind the world’s first laws to ban the fishing, possession and trade in shark fins

Broderick, Annette (UK)
Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Exeter

Chakravarty, Sid (INDIA)
Merchant sailor, skipper on ocean protection campaigns, including with Sea Shephard

Côté, Isabelle (CANADA) 
Professor of marine ecology at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia

Degelder, Paul (AUSTRALIA)
Author, motivational speaker, former member of the Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diving Force and shark attack survivor

Domingo, Regina (SPAIN)
Founder of the Nakawe Project

Ekins, Paul (UK)
Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at the Institute for Sustainable Resources, London

Fernandez, Daniela (USA)
Writer and speaker on ocean technology; founder and CEO of Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Foster, Sarah (CANADA)

Programme Manager for Project Seahorse

Gill, Peter (Australia)

Chief Executive of the Blue Whale Study

Graham, Rachel (USA)

Zoologist and founder of MarAlliance

Godley, Brendan (UK)
Professor of Conservation Science at the University of Exeter and co-ordinator of the Marine Turtle Research Group

Grorud-Colvert, Kirsten (USA)
Asst. Professor at Oregon State University and Director of the Science of Marine Reserves Project

Guerrero, Michel (ECUADOR)
Runs a diving centre; leads research on mantas through Fundación Megafauna Marina del Ecuador

Hancock, Jim (UK)
Marine biologist and co-founder of the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme

Harasti, David (AUSTRALIA)
Senior marine scientist based in the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park; an expert on the endangered White’s Seahorse

Harris, Alasdair (UK)
Executive Director of Blue Ventures

Heaney-Grier, Mehgan (USA)
Champion free-diver, actress, conservationist and television presenter

Herzing, Denise (USA)
Founder and Research Director of the Wild Dolphin Project

Heupel, Michelle (AUSTRALIA)
Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science; expert on the ecology and movement of sharks and predatory fish

Higuera, Erick (MEXICO)
Marine biologist, professional cameraman, award winning underwater filmmaker

Hoyos, Mauricio (MEXICO)
Specialist in the great white and hammerhead sharks of the Gulf of California

Huang, Kevin (CANADA)
A first-generation immigrant, who is helping the Chinese community in Vancouver, Canada move away from shark-fin soup and embrace sustainable seafood

Humphrey, Conrad (UK)
Ocean racing skipper, adventurer and environmentalist

Iñiguez, Miguel (ARGENTINA)
Founder of the Fundación Cethus; Argentine delegate for the International Whaling Commission

Kerbox, Buzzy (USA)
Professional surfer and waterman from Oahu, Hawaii and one of the pioneers of tow-in surfing

Kizilkaya, Zafer (TURKEY)

President of the Mediterranean Conservation Society

Krestovnikoff, Miranda (UK)
Zoologist, author and diver specialising in the coasts and marine life of the British Isles

Lavers, Jennifer (CANADA)
Lecturer in Marine Science at the University of Tasmania; expert on the impact of plastic pollution on seabird populations

Marshall, Andrea (USA)
Co-founder of The Marine Megafauna Foundation

McCay, Bonnie (USA)

Anthropologist and Emeritus Professor at Rutgers

McComb-Kobza, Mikki
Executive Director of the Ocean First Institute

McMillan, Christie (CANADA)
Co-Founder & Research Director at the Marine Education and Research Society

Moloney, Nick (AUSTRALIA)
First person to compete in the three great global sailing challenges – The Whitbread trophy, the Jules Verne trophy and the Vendee Globe

A conservation biologist based in the Republic of Seychelles

Nedimyer, Ken (USA)
Founder of the Coral Restoration

O’Barry, Ric (USA)
Former trainer of dolphins for the Flipper TV series; activist and campaigner against dolphin captivity

Obura, David (KENYA)

Director of CORDIO (Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean

O’Shea, Owen (UK)
Executive Director and Principal Research Scientist at the Centre for Ocean Research and Education

Papastamatiou, Yannis (UK)
Marine biologist; co-leads the Predator Ecology and Conservation Lab

Pawson, David (NEW ZEALAND)
Sr. Research Scientist Emeritus at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Payne, Roger (USA)
Scientist, musician and founder of Ocean Alliance.

Pierce, Simon (NEW ZEALAND)
Co-founder of the Marine Megafauna Foundation

Pola, Marta (SPAIN)
Professor of marine biology and zoology at the University Autónoma of Madrid in Spain

Pope, Frank (UK)
Author, conservationist and Chief Executive of the research and conservation organisation ‘Save the Elephants’; former Ocean Correspondent for The Times

Psihoyos, Louie (USA)
Photographer, Oscar-winning film maker and Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society

Ramírez-Mascías, Deni (MEXICO)
Conservation biologist and Director of Whale Shark Mexico

Robèrt, Karl-Henrik (SWEDEN)
Cancer scientist and pivotal figure in the global sustainability movement

Rose, Paul (UK)
Explorer, television presenter, former Base Commander of the Rothera Research Station in Antarctica; Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions

Royle, Jo (UK)
Expedition skipper and sea champion, campaigning for clean seas

Sale, Peter (CANADA)

Expert on reef fish and coral reefs, having worked in Hawaii, Australia, the Caribbean and the Middle East

Samarra, Filipa (PORTUGAL)
Lead Scientist on the Icelandic Orca Project

Savage, Roz (UK)
The first woman to row across the globe’s three great oceans

Scott, Rebecca (UK)
Marine ecologist at the GEOMAR Helholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany

Sears, Richard (USA)

Founded the Mingan Island Cetacean Study in Gulf of St.

Smith, Lauren (UK)
Diver, photographer and shark biologist who runs Saltwater Life

Smith, Richard (UK)
Underwater photographer and expert on pygmy seahorses.

Spalding, Mark (UK)

Senior Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and Chief Science Advisor to the Government of the British Indian Ocean Territory

Stevens, Guy (UK) 
Co-Founder of the Manta Trust and the Maldivian Manta Ray Project

Sumaila, Ussif Rashid (CANADA)
Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit; the Ocean Canada Partnership at the University of British Columbia

Swan, Robert (UK)
Polar explorer, environmental leader and the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles

Trubridge, William (NEW ZEALAND)
World-record holding freediver

Van Sebille, Erik (THE NETHERLANDS)
Oceanographer at the University of Utrecht’s Institute for Marine and Atmospheric

Whitehead, Hal (CANADA)
Professor at Dalhousie University, who has studied sperm whales in the North Atlantic and Galapagos for over 40 years

Whitehouse, Sheldon (USA)
American lawyer, politician, Junior Senator for Rhode Island

Wiener, Jean (HAITI)
Founder and director of the Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity

Woodring, Doug (USA)
Co-founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance

Varela, Leonor (USA)
Actress based in Los Angeles who has been actively supporting global efforts to protect our oceans

Veron, J.E.N “Charlie” (AUSTRALIA)

Coral taxonomist, ecologist and the former Chief Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science

Yrisarri, Catherine (USA)
Film-maker who has covered stories of climate change all over the world

Ziltener, Angela (SWITZERLAND)
Founder of Dolphin Watch Alliance

About The Author

Philip Hamilton is a photographer and ocean conservationist.


"Teeming with images of spectacular underwater scenes from around the world" 

- Guardian, November 2018

“In Call of the Blue there are pin-sharp close-ups of a hawksbill turtle and a great white shark – and of a tiny xeno crab and a strange group of Lambert’s worm sea cucumbers. There are also great splashes of colourful reefs and gaudy anemones, and a silvery view into the mouth of a whale shark, the largest fish in the world. Coursing through this visual warmth is an icy current: essays and interviews with scientists, photographers and “ocean guardians” – people who are devoted to protecting the oceans. Though they are clearly fascinated by all things oceanic, the stories they tell are more terrifying than any tiger shark. The waters are warming; as a result, corals are bleaching and dying, leaving creatures of all types homeless and vulnerable. We are catching too many fish and filling the oceans with plastic … This magnificent book is [Hamilton’s] call to arms. Let’s hope it works.”

- 1843/The Economist, December 2018

"A beautiful, otherworldly compendium of underwater photographs." 

- GQ, December 2018

"Breath-taking book ... [that] aims to bear witness to the fragility of the ocean."

- Chinadiaglouge Ocean, December 2018

“Ranging from the infinitesimal to the colossal, Call of the Blue takes the viewer on a journey through ocean ecosystems we rarely observe. Creatures like anemone shrimp and pygmy seahorses no bigger than a thumbnail inhabit the pages with blue whales and great white sharks. Bright reefs contrast sharply with the indigo-gray depths of approaching ocean floor. Marine iguanas swim upward to shore after feeding; green turtles dive down to shallow seagrass”.

- Sierra Magazine

“Although there are few answers and far too many questions, the strange tale of Kieran Kelly shows that human monsters can prey on their fellow man for years, and so long as the victims belong to society’s class of the great unwanted, the police and the general public just will not care.”

- New York Journal of Books

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