Cover image for The whaling season : an inside account of the struggle to stop commercial whaling
The whaling season : an inside account of the struggle to stop commercial whaling
Mulvaney, Kieran.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Island Press/Shearwater Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
xvii, 348 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL737.C4 M85 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Despite a decades-long international moratorium on commercial whaling, one fleet has continued to hunt and kill whales in the waters surrounding Antarctica. Refusing to let this defiance go unchallenged, the environmental organization Greenpeace began dispatching expeditions to the region in an effort to intercept the whalers and use non-violent means to stop their lethal practice. this book, he recounts those voyages in all their drama, disappointments, strain and elation, giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at the hazards and triumphs of life as an environmental activist on the high seas. The author also explores the larger struggles underlying the expeditions, drawing on the history of commercial whaling and Antarctic exploration, the development of Greenpeace, and broader scientific and political efforts to conserve marine life. He presents a portrait of the current struggles and makes an impassioned plea for protection of some of the world's most spectacular creatures.

Author Notes

Kieran Mulvaney is the author more than 200 articles on science and the environment for publications including The (London) Sunday Times Magazine, New Scientist, BBC Wildlife, and E Magazine. The founding director of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Mulvaney is currently editor of Ocean Update. He lives in Anchorage, Alaska

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Science and environmental writer Mulvaney offers a passionate, stirring account of his involvement in Greenpeace's campaign to end commercial whaling, taking readers through the history of whaling and of the environmental organization itself (which was founded in 1971), and offering an explanation of what's being done to nonviolently stop whalers' lethal practices. Mulvaney has participated in numerous Greenpeace-led expeditions to the waters surrounding Antarctica in an effort to intercept whalers and stop them from killing endangered whales. It's an inspiring story, told honestly and in a non-preachy style. After many frustrations, Mulvaney finally comes to realize that "at the heart of the conflict there is, I suspect, a fundamental cultural dichotomy... a profound contrast in beliefs over how humanity should relate to the natural environment." His important book deserves attention from anyone who cares about the fate of the ocean's greatest creatures. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Mulvaney (At the Ends of the Earth) went on several Antarctic expeditions with Greenpeace to stop a group of whalers who were breaching an international moratorium on commercial whaling. In this behind-the-scenes account, the whalers may be viewed as the "villains," but the people of Greenpeace are not necessarily heroes, for Mulvaney reveals that their attempts to block Antarctic whaling were only partially successful. Indeed, he notes that the efforts were more effective in generating publicity than in stopping the whaling. He also describes work by the International Whaling Commission and points out some of the weaknesses in a group that really has no authority to enforce its recommendations. This readable insider's account is recommended for larger environmental collections in conjunction with more straightforward narratives of Greenpeace's activities, e.g., Jim Bohlen's Making Waves: The Origins and Future of Greenpeace and Michael Brown and John May's The Greenpeace Story (Maps, illustrations, and index not seen.)-Jean E. Crampon, Univ. of Southern California Lib., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Mulvaney offers a well-written narrative of the effort by Greenpeace to impair efforts by current-day whalers. The action moves from international negotiations in an amazing variety of locales, to the intrepid, sometimes foolhardy, insertion of boats and personnel between whalers and whales, mainly in the Southern Ocean. The dedication of the protesters is evident as is the surprising insistency of the few remaining whaling countries in pursuing this last gasp of an industry plainly on its way to vanishing. Why do the whalers persist? Can it be just cultural inertia, or is there more than that? Clearly, the views conveyed here are those of an advocate, and there is sure to be another side to the issues. As a matter of historical record, it would have been good to explain how the detailed conversations, some more than a decade old, have been recalled in such detail. There is much drama and many important issues in this book, but somehow they do not come really alive on the page. ^BSumming Up: Optional. General readers. I. Valiela Boston University

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Antarctic, December 2001p. xi
Chapter 1 Beginningsp. 1
Chapter 2 South from Singaporep. 23
Chapter 3 Life and Death at the End of the Earthp. 45
Chapter 4 Cat-and-Mouse Among the Icebergsp. 63
Chapter 5 Contactp. 85
Chapter 6 A Brief History of the Mismanagement of Whalingp. 109
Chapter 7 Chronicle of a Voyage from Hellp. 133
Chapter 8 "Great God! This Is an Awful Place..."p. 155
Chapter 9 Sanctuaryp. 181
Chapter 10 A Place Called Paradisep. 201
Chapter 11 Red-Handedp. 225
Chapter 12 Vote Buying, Canny Proposals, and Fish-Eating Whalesp. 251
Chapter 13 One Last Roll of the Dicep. 274
Epiloguep. 297
Appendix A Cast of Charactersp. 307
Appendix B Chronologyp. 315
Further Readingp. 319
Acknowledgmentsp. 331
Indexp. 335