Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive! - Vol. XIV No. 3 - July 2005

Book Reviews

By William Rossiter

Whale Rescue: Changing the Future for Endangered Wildlife is the latest of Erich Hoyt's 15 books, a rewarding, inspiring look at issues that affect cetaceans, and some of the people who have committed their lives to finding scientific solutions.

We all need heroes. In this slim book are profiles of several heroes that whale enthusiasts will have followed for years. Each is a unique profile of someone who spends, even risks their lives helping whales. Role models to all of us, it's about time they had a little of the attention due them. Perhaps the best photo is of Roger Payne's thrilled smile as he meets a right whale. Some photos explain as much as the text: Stormy Mayo's, as a helmeted figure at the bow of an inflatable, risking the edge to save an entangled right whale; Richard Sears', whose authority as the blue whale expert required hours scanning individual photos that look alike to everyone else. Hal Whitehead represents genius, and along with Robin Baird represent the innovative scientists who have proven that non-invasive research works. The collective achievements in this book are enormous, but their value here is to show some of the ways the next generation can reach further.

Whale Rescue is a book of basic facts and awesome pictures to grab the interest of anyone, to enthrall the adventurous youngster looking to make the world a better place, and to satisfy the people who will welcome publicizing the contributions of others. Well, maybe not satisfy everyone, for as wide ranging and deserving as the ensemble is the limited space ruled out the inclusion of many who deserve the honor. But Erich, you set yourself up for this: why are no women included? Whale Rescue joins five other books in the Firefly Animal Rescue series, all 64 pages, with 50 color photos and maps, each for US$9.95 in paperback. http://www.fireflybooks.com/Nature/HOYT.html

With all the Marine Protected Area bits in this newsletter, it's appropriate to remind readers of Hoyt's previous book, Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, published in 2005 by Earthscan and reviewed in January's Whales Alive!

Orcas In Our Midst, Volume 2: The next generation is a labor of love from the Orca Network, and sure to please anyone interested in our favorite Salish Sea orcas, the J, K, and L pods of Puget Sound, WA. It's a simplified scientific version of everything, with primers on orcas and other species, environment and habitat, whale hotlines, whale watching and research, evolution, issues and answers, and suggestions about how you can help the whales. All this is in a 34 page companion booklet to Volume 1, both available from http://www.orcanetwork.org/.

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