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To many, the whale is a majestic mammal, the ‘mind in the ocean’. What were once whaling towns have become homes to hordes of devoted whale watchers, and whaling, for the most part, was thought to have been vanquished. It was just a matter of waiting for those few misguided nations still whaling to come to their senses.

That never happened. Instead, the whalers came back. In 1987, the first full year after the worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling was agreed to, 100 whales were killed on the end of grenade-tipped harpoons. In 2005, the figure was around 2,500.

Harpoon reveals the political machinations and manipulation at the highest levels that have allowed some countries, particularly Japan, to continue hunting whales against the wishes of the world, with the IWC powerless to stop the slaughter.