Harpoon : Into the Heart of Whaling

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To many, the whale is a majestic mammal, the 'mind in the ocean'. What were once whaling towns have become homes to hordes of devoted whale watchers, and whaling, for the most part, was thought to have been vanquished. It was just a matter of waiting for those few misguided nations still whaling to come to their senses.

That never happened. Instead, the whalers came back. In 1987, the first full year after the worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling was agreed to, 100 whales were killed on the end of grenade-tipped harpoons. In 2005, the figure was around 2,500.

Harpoon reveals the political machinations and manipulation at the highest levels that have allowed some countries, particularly Japan, to continue hunting whales against the wishes of the world, with the IWC powerless to stop the slaughter.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 152 x 230 x 29mm | 415g
  • St Leonards NSW, Australia
  • English
  • 1741146119
  • 9781741146110
  • 1,663,869

Table of contents

Chapter One: From the bridge of a whaling ship. Whaling now. Minke whales are shot in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and the Antarctic. Other species also die on harpoons in the North Pacific and North Atlantic. The people who hunt, and their stories.

Chapter Two: Whales now. What we know of these animals. How they do what they do. Extraordinary beings or dumb ox? The scientists who know them. What others believe. Whales as characters in a narrative. The largest animal ever: Learning about the blues.

Chapter Three: Man's long pursuit of the whale, and how the industrial revolution almost eliminated the leviathan. The true cultural history, and the people who once whaled.

Chapter Four: Learning the limits to growth. The crash of whale numbers forces the first post World War II international conservation agreement. The early years of the International Whaling Commission.

Chapter Five: Blind trickery. Japan's post-war taste for whale flesh, and how it was
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Review quote

"Science Books & Films", October 2008 "A very thorough study...Its style is very readable, and it makes a good story." "Choice", December 08 "[A] disturbing, dramatic, richly researched book...Darby describes in sharp detail the story of this ongoing conflict...Highly recommended. All readers, especially students of international law, whale watchers, and concerned citizens.""Earth Island Journal", April 2010 "Andrew Darby is one of the world's best-informed journalists when it comes to whaling issues...[He] has created a niche for himself by following the meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) year after year. In his new(ish) book, "Harpoon", he shows off his expertise as he uncovers the full dysfunction of this odd global institution...Darby tells his tale with passion and verve."
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About Andrew Darby

Andrew Darby is a Fairfax journalist who writes for both the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. He lives in Tasmania.
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Rating details

47 ratings
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 13% (6)
4 28% (13)
3 49% (23)
2 9% (4)
1 2% (1)
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