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Troubled Waters: The Changing Fortunes of Whales and Dolphins [Hardcover]

Sarah Lazarus
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £9.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

3 Nov 2006
This book explores the fates of whales and dolphins and how they became intertwined with human history. The story begins over 1000 years ago when hunters first took up harpoons and went to sea in search of the rich rewards of meat, oil and whalebone. Troubled Waters charts a course through the whaling boom of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the tragic implications of commercial fishing and noise pollution, the controversial keeping of dolphins in captivity, and the current row over Japanese whaling. Discover the natural history of these fascinating animals in the context of the social, cultural and political developments that have shaped their lives during the unlikely transition from whale-hunting to whale-watching. Dispelling common misconceptions - Are dolphins really supernaturally intelligent? Are the great whales in danger of extinction? - and opening up current arguments, this gripping investigation explains just why whales and dolphins became one of the major harvests of the sea, and how humans are destined to affect their future.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Natural History Museum (3 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0565091921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0565091927
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,380,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Deeply interesting and refreshing." --"Guardian" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sarah Lazarus is a science and natural history writer who has written extensively for the Natural History Museum and Science Museum. She has also contributed to four books from the Rough Guide travel series and numerous television programmes as varied as Mastermind and Survival.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go on! Dip a toe into Troubled Waters! 4 Feb 2007
I really enjoyed this book. 'Troubled Waters' provides an excellent and accessible review of the history of human interactions with whales. It's a compelling read and goes from historical to modern matters with a graceful ease.

It makes a good introduction to a wide range of important conservation and welfare issues. So, if you interested in these remarkabe animals and want to know more about what is affecting them and their future prospects, this is the book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a real gem of hidden depths 25 Nov 2007
In less than 200 pages this fascinating and beautifully written book charts the history of whales and dolphins over the last 50 million years. It says it all that as someone with no particular interest in the subject matter, I found it a completely gripping read.

Densely packed with a dizzying array of extraordinary facts, this book has an appeal way beyond the animal lover. I was fascinated to learn that at 30 metres long the blue whale is not only the largest animal in the world but the largest animal that has ever lived. Its heart is the size of a small car and 50 people could stand on its giant tongue. Or take the right whales which, at 2 ½ metres long, can proudly claim to have the longest penises in the world.

But this is far from being just a bumper fact book. It's also a sobering account of the devastating impact that humans have had on whales and dolphins. Their numbers have been drastically reduced not just through commercial whaling (which is nothing new - it originated in the Basque country 6000 years ago we are told) but also as a result of polluted waters, increased oceanic temperatures and the continued use of fishing nets the size of small islands. Against all that, the International Whaling Commission has certainly got its work cut out.

This is a real gem of a book and I would highly recommend it.
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