The International Politics of Whaling

The International Politics of Whaling
Peter J. Stoett

After reading this book, I felt abreast of most of the issues surrounding whaling, and its history.

It offers a reasonably even-handed approach, whilst informing the reader that the blue whale has never recovered from the slaughter that went on unimpeded from the 18th to the 20th centuries, he also asks the question of how the whaling moratorium can continue when some species have made good recoveries.

The only problem I see in this book is that whilst I don't believe the author is wrong that whaling can be done responsibly if you accept (which I don't) that it is ethically defensible to needlessly kill these beautiful beings, he doesn't seem to offer any case that it ever has been done responsibly.

The Japanese, whilst brazenly and shamefully lying to the entire world about the 'scientific whaling' they indulge in, have also been shown through DNA samples taken at Japanese fishing markets, to be continuing to hunt endangered whales despite the eyes of the world, and international opinion being strongly against them.

Some of the quotes from the book are mind-boggling - "...used declassified Soviet Ministry of Fishing reports to find that one Soviet factory ship had told the International Whaling Commission during the 1960s that it [sic] had killed 152 humpback and 156 blue whales. In fact, the ship had taken 7,207 humpbacks and 1,433 blue whales and illegally killed 717 right whales, a species protected by the whaling commission since the 1930s".

This is a great book for those who wish to know about whales, whaling and the politics going on in the world that will affect the future of these glorious creatures.