Harpoon, by Andrew Darby

This much we know. The first Fin whale to be harpooned in the Antarctic for 30 years was a 19-metre long male
It was of a species facing a very high risk of extinction and it was killed to the north of Prydz Bay, eastern Antarctica, in a whale sanctuary.

So begins Harpoon, a detailed exploration of the history of whaling, a book which is both enlightening and disarming. At the same time as it provides an in-depth expose of current and past whaling processes, it shows the problems that anti-whaling protestors are up against.

This is not just a book for those with an interest or passion for whale conservation, although of course the books will be both a useful tool and a motivator for such readers. At the same time, for those who are aware of the whaling conflict, but choose to stay removed from the situation, Harpoon will be a wake-up call, detailing unemotively the facts of whaling practice and the pressures faced by today’s whale numbers.

Author Andrew Darby avoids being didactic or preachy, presenting the information in an ordered, reasoned way and leaving readers to draw their own conclusions. This is perhaps why the book hits home so hard.

An important book.

Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling

Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling, by Andrew Darby
Allen & Unwin, 2007

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