Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling [NOOK Book]

Overview

From one-hundred-fifty-ton barnacled Blues to the sleek, embattled Minke, whales have been hunted worldwide to near extinction. Despite efforts to halt the killing, the future of these majestic mammals-known as “mind in the water”-is again in jeopardy. With passion and engaging detail, Andrew Darby profiles each species of whale and its place in this great drama. From the wooden harpoons of aboriginals in “cockleshell” vessels, to the high-tech killing machines of today’s lawless Russian whalers and ...
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Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling

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Overview

From one-hundred-fifty-ton barnacled Blues to the sleek, embattled Minke, whales have been hunted worldwide to near extinction. Despite efforts to halt the killing, the future of these majestic mammals-known as “mind in the water”-is again in jeopardy. With passion and engaging detail, Andrew Darby profiles each species of whale and its place in this great drama. From the wooden harpoons of aboriginals in “cockleshell” vessels, to the high-tech killing machines of today’s lawless Russian whalers and smooth-talking Japanese “scientific” crews, Darby chronicles the evolving pursuit of whales and its significance to our humanity. Fans of well-written history, as well as those fascinated by whales and the fierce international conflict surrounding them, will be swept into the very heart of whaling.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Darby, an Australian journalist who has covered the whaling industry and the international politics of whaling since the founding of the International Whaling Commission in the early 1960s, has produced a definitive work on the past and the present of whaling. Although he does provide background material from the 19th century and earlier, his emphasis is on the 20th century industrial whaling boom, when flensing stations on shore and on ships processed dozens of whales each day. With each new technology (faster steamships, mechanical harpoons), more and more species became vulnerable-Darby, in fact, organizes his history by species, beginning with the Right Whales-and heartbreaking accounts of the killing make this excellent book a difficult read. Aside from usual suspects (the Soviet Union and Japan in the Southern Ocean), Darby finds whaling piracy in the birth of the famed Onassis family fortune. Darcy tracks international efforts to curb whaling, which have been stymied through the years by diplomatic maneuvers and outright fraud, concluding that decades of work by both ecologists and governments have still not guaranteed that any species will survive human predation; one hopes his exceptional history will act as a bulwark.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews
Sydney Morning Herald reporter Darby ventures from Tasmania and Japan to Antarctica and Mexico as he tracks the ongoing destruction of the world's whale population. Despite the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, illegal hunting continues to take a toll. Darby profiles each endangered species in turn, digging though International Whaling Commission archives to root out the truth. The Right, a slow, steady baleen, was hunted to near-extinction in the Southern Ocean and the Atlantic by Basque and Long Islanders; protected since 1934, it was secretly chased by the Soviets but is now making a comeback. The Blue, a speedy Rorqual (the largest group of baleens), was routed by Norwegians and Americans from the Aleutians to the subartic seas of the North Atlantic. Out of nearly 40,000 Blues, more than 28,000 were killed at the height of the Antarctic whaling season in 1931, taken for the oil used in making soap and margarine. In need of protein for its starving people after the war, Japan resisted the 1931 Geneva Convention regulations to restrict whaling; General MacArthur's complaisance "unlocked an industry that would shovel whale into the Japanese diet for a generation." The tiny Minke was targeted especially by the Japanese, who still pursue it and the Humpback in the name of science. The big-headed warrior Sperm, with ambergris worth its weight in gold, was still being hunted into the '70s, until Paul Watson of Greenpeace made whaling a "lightning rod for global species conservation." Darby delineates both sides in the messy politics of whaling, and mixes in a lively bit of science and evolution. His study energetically underscores the need for continued vigilance in protecting thesesublime ancient cetaceans. An exciting, in-the-chase, up-to-the minute look at the state of global whaling-nice companion volume to Eric Jay Dolin's Leviathan (2007).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786732005
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/13/2009
  • Series: A Merloyd Lawrence Book
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • File size: 646 KB

Meet the Author

Andrew Darby, reporter on environmental issues and Antarctica for the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), has covered whaling, whales, and their effect on people for 20 years. He lives in Hobart, Tasmania.
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Table of Contents

Pt. I Right

1 Bones of the Past 2

2 Counting Absence 21

Pt. II Blue

3 To the Brink 34

4 Making Margarine 45

5 Heroic Liars 58

6 Whaling for Pygmies 71

Pt. III Sperm

7 Moby's Click 80

8 Waking the Village 93

9 Hearts and Minds 109

Pt. IV Minke

10 A Dozen Dead Oceans 132

11 Brave New Science 143

12 Being Japanese 163

13 Keiko Goes Home 175

Pt. V Humpback

14 Explosion and Its Meaning 194

15 Fishing for Countries 210

16 Normality 230

17 Voyages 247

Epilogue 256

Acknowledgements 260

Notes 262

Index 292

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Stupid

    Who wants to kill whales? Dumbasses...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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