The Safina Center

Dolphin and reflection, Santa Cruz, CA.Dolphin and reflection, Santa Cruz, CA.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World’s Coasts and Beneath the Seas


Part odyssey, part pilgrimage, this epic personal narrative follows the author’s exploration of coasts, islands, reefs, and the sea’s abyssal depths. Scientist and fisherman Carl Safina takes readers on a global journey of discovery, probing for truth about the world’s changing seas, deftly weaving adventure, science, and political analysis.


Selected as one of the Most Influential Environmental Books of all time by the Environmental Defense Fund, Song for the Blue Ocean relays extraordinary stories from New England to America’s northwestern forests to Hong Kong and Japan and idylliic–though not ideal–Pacific islands.

Awards and Honors for Song for the Blue Ocean:

  • Lannan Award for Literature
  • Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction selection
  • Library Journal Best Science Book selection
  • A New York Times Notable Book
“I hereby nominate Carl Safina to be the person in charge of telling us what’s really going on in the world… Carl Safina has done what I could only dream about: he has written a plaintive, sensitive, caring, intelligent, indignant paean to his beloved waters and their threatened inhabitants. this book will make you mad as hell; it will make you marvel at the wonders he describes, and it will make you glad to realize that there is someone like Carl Safina who cares enough to devote his life to the preservation of the earth’s most fragile and misunderstood ecosystems.”
                                      –Richard Ellis, Los Angeles Times Book Review
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Book Reviews:

You will never think about fish-or the ocean-the same way again."

— Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer, Former Chief Scientist, NOAA, on Song for the Blue Ocean

[Safina's] bright new voice joins that influential chorus, which includes Rachel Carson and Jacques Cousteau, of scientists turned eloquent ocean advocates."

— Harry E. Demarest, San Francisco Chronicle on Song for the Blue Ocean

Safina’s Song is the Silent Spring for our time. The book is a page turner. But unlike the phantasmagorical novels of Michael Crichton or Peter Benchley, where a little science is thrown in to give the plot an aura of verisimilitude, Safina’s book is all true and wilder and more frightening. . . . I loved this book."

— Richard Ellis, Los Angeles Times on Song for the Blue Ocean

If you love the ocean, read this book."

— Big Game Fishing Journal on Song for the Blue Ocean

Engrossing and illuminating . . . passionate and enthralling narrative . . . [A] landmark book."

— Thurston Clarke, The New York Times Book Review on Song for the Blue Ocean