Death of a Whale is Captain Paul Watson’s fascinating new narrative about a historic dispute involving cultural entitlement, the sovereignty of whales, and international whaling agreements. This compelling, in-depth account documents how Sea Shepherd Conservation Society fights to defend and protect whales and other aquatic marine mammals from human predators who hunt and murder then under the false pretense of Indigenous rights. In the process of discharging its duties, the organization has created global enemies and allies and, by necessity, has put its staff and vessels in harm’s way.
Reading like an electrifying adventure tale, this true-life logbook reveals how members of one community, the Makah (located on Washington’s Olympic peninsula), attempted to circumvent international whaling laws by invoking outmoded cultural entitlements for the sole purpose of killing, rather than for sustenance or survival. Tribal members, conservationists, and non-Indigenous Americans representing disparate points of view on the cultural appropriation of whaling rights contributed to the highly charged atmosphere of this incident.
Supremely detailed and documented, this narrative replays the events as they unfolded. Throughout, Captain Watson’s deep respect for Indigenous traditions and rights never waver, even when they conflict with his own devotion to the sovereignty of whales.