The Blue Whale

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Columbia University Press, 1971 - Nature - 248 pages
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Discusses the conditions affecting the survival of the blue whale, and the factors leading to its eventual extinction, as a case study in man's exploitation of natural resources

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This is a great book, although some of the information is inaccurate or outdated.
It is a great source for information about the antarctic whaling industry, and has some good anatomical data for blue
whales that is hard to find elsewhere, such as the weights of individual blue whales. It also has some good whaling-era photos of blue whales that are hard to find online. It did get a few things wrong, however. Despite what the author says, the pygmy blue whale IS in fact a separate subspecies. The japanese took advantage of this, but they did not make the whole thing up. Also, the situation for blue whales in the northern hemisphere was not the same as in the antarctic, northern blue whales were not depleted as much as antarctic ones were. And, fortunately, the blue whale is NOT doomed to extinction, and the antarctic population has increased from a few hundred at the time of this book to over 2,000 in 1998, and still higher today. (although it is still only a tiny fraction of pre whaling numbers)
This book is also a great real-life example of what happens when corporate greed runs unchecked, and how we need to conserve our natural resources beyond national borders, and respecting all forms of life. If any real life story parallels that of Dr Seuss's The Lorax, it is this one.
Although some things in here should be taken with a grain of salt, I would highly recommend this book.


The Blue Whale
Antarctic Pelagic Whaling
Industrial Economics and Extermination
National Whaling Policies
International Whaling Control
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