Discover life in our Oceans
12th Apr 19

Discover life in our Oceans

Television and radio presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff is passionate about our oceans, and has written about the strange and wonderful creatures that live in them in her new book, THE SEA, published by Bloomsbury Children's Books.

We hope her new book will help to inspire a new generation of marine conservationists and divers!

Here, Miranda Krestovnikoff tells us more about THE SEA:

Q: Why did you decide you wanted to write a book about The Sea and how did you fit it around your work as a presenter?

A: I was very lucky to be approached by Bloomsbury to write this book as a result of my presenting work on the BBC2 series COAST. I am a mother of two, a diver and I'm passionate about the marine environment, so it was an obvious choice to write this book.

A book about The Sea (and protecting it!) also now seems very timely with all the news about marine conservation, plastics and how we are affecting our precious environment.

Q: Do you hope to inspire future oceanologists with this book?

A: Absolutely! I hope that in reading this book children will be inspired to find out more about the ocean environment and the creatures within it. Each spread is a mere taster of the myriad of different habitats within the marine environment, there is so much more out there to find out about!

Q: Has ocean life always been a passion of yours?

A: As far back as I can remember I have been drawn to water. I learnt scuba-diving at university and that opened it up to me even more. I have been lucky enough to have had many exciting and unique encounters and adventures and every time I go into the water I never know quite what I'm going to experience. That's the fun and fascination of it!

Q: How did you go about researching the book?

A: Obviously I have drawn on my own experiences underwater for much of the book, but there were many environments that I was less familiar with and I enjoyed researching about the different creatures which live within them. There were many more facts about the Blue whale than we could possibly cram into one double page spread. They are truly record-breaking animals!

Q: If there is one part of life in the oceans that stands out for you, what is it?

A: I find kelp forest is a fascinating habitat. There is so much going on and so many different places to hide and survive. There is a fine balance between the grazing urchins, the starfish and the sea otters that live there and if this balance is upset then the system collapses.

Q: And one or two of its creatures?

A: I absolutely love sea otters. If I believed in reincarnation I would like to come back as one! Perfectly adapted for the marine environment, they wrap themselves up in the long fronds of kelp before going to sleep. They also carry around with them their favourite stone and when they catch shellfish they bash them against the stone to release the meat inside. My idea of heaven!

Q: Why did you decide to refer in the book to our 'plastic ocean' and the pollution we are creating?

A: Obviously there is a huge amount in the press at the moment about plastics ending up in the marine environment and it is something that worries me a great deal. When my children learnt to scuba-dive they were in couraged to pick up litter on every dive that they did, which just highlights the amount that is floating around in our waters. It was something I never saw when I learnt to scuba-dive all those years ago.

I am pleased that we are now tackling the problem but it really is a massive issue and one that isn't going to go away any time soon.

Q: How optimistic are you that we will learn to treat our oceans better?

A: At last there seems to be a realisation about the effects that we are having on this environment in terms of pollution and usage. Although there are so many people out there who don't seem to care, there seem to be enough who do and optimistically I hope that we find ways of using this environment in a cleaner and more responsible way the future.

Q: Your job takes you to many different places - what assignment have you most recently done that you've enjoyed?

A: I recently filmed part of a series for the BBC about walks along British rivers. I went to Suffolk and filmed on the river Deeben and instead of everything being a little bit set up and scripted, I actually walked along the river and reacted to the wildlife and the environment that I witnessed during my journey.

It was a very simple concept but made a very beautiful film. Sometimes the humblest of subjects can produce some pretty stunning results.

Q: What are your favourite escapes from your working day?

A: I love walking the dog in the woodland behind our house and I have also started to horse ride again which is something I did when I was younger. After a really busy day it's a wonderful way to unwind and relax and most importantly be outside in the open air.

I also love wild swimming - especially in cold water, it's so invigorating.

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