This engaging memoir presents one man's lifelong love of the ocean and gives a highly personal, behind-the-scenes look at California's magnificent and innovative aquariums. David Powell, for many years curator of the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, tells the story of his life as a pioneering aquarist. From handling great white sharks to transporting delicate fish on bumpy airplanes to night-diving for fish in the Indian Ocean, the author describes the mind-boggling challenges that make modern aquariums possible and offers an intriguing glimpse beneath the ocean's surface. Powell's carcer in diving and aquarium development goes back to the beginning of modern methods in both areas. He tells of the early techniques he invented to get fish into aquariums alive and healthy, such as his adaptation of a home pressure cooker to decompress colorful rockfish. From that amusing incident to his later exploratory dive to a depth of eleven hundred feet in a two-person submarine, Powell's action-packed narrative inspires laughter, wonder, and philosophical reflection. A Fascination for Fish also includes many stories about Powell's diving adventures on the California coast, in the Sea of Cortez, and in remote locations around the world. At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Powell devised innovative and dramatic exhibits, including the world's first living kelp forest. He also played a key role in developing naturalistic exhibits at other great aquariums in California, such as Sea World, San Francisco's Steinhart Aquarium, and Marineland of the Pacific. Full of absorbing descriptions of marine landscapes and creatures and tales of colorful personalities, this inspiring memoir imparts a passion for the ocean and, above all, Powell's deep belief in marine conservation. As he concludes, "The most vital message we can pass on to the coming generation is to protect the oceans and their inhabitants."