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The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  82 reviews
On board a pirate ship in the battle to save the world's largest mammals Any day saving a whale is a good day to die... December 2005: journalist Peter Heller arrives in Melbourne to join the Farley Mowat, a pirate ship hellbent on saving whales from hunters in Antarctica. On board Heller finds an uncompromising crew of eco-crusaders who fly the Jolly Roger, operate a stee ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by HarperCollins - AU (first published 2007)
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This is a sobering book. The devastation wrecked on the world’s fisheries is extraordinary. 90% of the predatory fish, so essential to a healthy ecosystem, have been destroyed or fished out since 1950. Traditional food fish have all but disappeared. If we had any sense, we’d stop eating fish immediately. So what to do. Paul Watson says, save the whales.

The modern method of killing whales is barbaric and should be stopped. How that should be accomplished is partly the subject of this book. Techni
My first introduction to Captain Paul Watson was in the documentary Shark Waters. In that situation I thought he came off as very heroic. After that I saw the Animal Planet series about the Sea Shepherd and I began to see the captain and crew in more of a critical light. This book led me towards more mixed feelings about Sea Shepherd.
I should start by saying that because they are preventing whales from being slaughtered I think they are doing something that is extremely important and I’m very t
Paul Pessolano
This book will be of great interest to those of us who are into ecology, saving the dying species, and saving the world. Most of us know about "Greenpeace" and what they do, but how many of us are aware of Sea Shepard Conservation Society. The Sea Shepard Group make Greenpeace look like a knitting society. This group has no qualms about ramming a whaling ship or fouling its propeller with chain links.

"The Whale Warriors" tell about how difficult and expensive it is for the Sea Shepard Group to p
At the bottom of the globe near Antarctica, there is a battle going on between Japanese whalers and activists (eco-pirates) who are trying to save the wales. The Farley, captained by Paul Watson who runs the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is out to stop whaling for good, by any means necessary. While whaling is mostly illegal, the Japanese get around the laws by saying they are doing it for research.

Fighting to stop whaling is part waiting (it can take weeks to find the ships), and part high
Aug 11, 2009 Liza rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who appreciate the ocean
It is difficult to review a book about a subject which one feels conflicted yet passionate about. Do I merely critique the writing? I don't think I can do that. The author, Peter Heller, is a journalist for Outside and a contributor to NPR, and besides that he lives in Denver, so you know which side of nature the man is on. Yes, he may be conflicted about Sea Shepherd as an organization, but he obviously wants to save the whales and the oceans and any attempt by Heller to seem objective was met ...more
My introduction to Peter Heller (once I realized he wasn't Robocop actor Peter Weller) was his recent interview on Fresh Air to talk about his first novel. I'm sure I'll read it as I eat up post-apocalyptic novels, but I was more fascinated to hear about his work as an outdoor adventure writer. I've read little in this genre, but after hearing him I put everything he wrote on hold at the library. I was excited to learn that he wrote a book about Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds, whom I was fasc ...more
Kyle Vasek
The book, The Whale Warrior by Peter Hellers, is based on a true story. The theme of the novel is to do what is right. The Japanese were killing innocent whales which breaks the international law. A group of people set off to stop them from performing this treacherous act. This is a great book to read because it makes you become aware of what is happening in the world today.
The basis of the story is a group of people on board a ship called The Farley. One of which was the author, Peter Heller,
Melissa Hefferlin
I have never thought much about whales, except for a vague notion that they are large and that they may be endangered. I found this book life altering. The story was written with a great deal of restraint, which just made the factual material more astonishing. I kept with it to the end, swooshing the pages long into the night. Really, really good. I had to buy all his other books.
I think as humans, we know the damage we do to the planet. Or, I would like to think most people are aware, and take steps to be proactive in protecting the fragile balance between us and nature.

Heller journeys on the Farley Mowat - a ship piloted by Paul Watson. Watson has founded a group of vigilantes of sorts that protects the endangered cetaceans of the ocean. Watson's mission is to stop the illegal slaughter of whales by the nations that still practice this barbaric ritual. On this particu
I was actually rather reluctant to read this book. In fact, it's been on my "shelf" for about 7 years. I'm not an activist, nor do I really fundamentally relate to those who are. So my expectation were pretty low going into this book as to whether or not I would like it.

Heller is a good writer and brings the facts along with the drama in depicting the efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservancy to save the whales. If it was a call to action, it didn't manage to turn me into an activist. Still, this
Marsella Johnson
You feel like you are on the ship Farley along with the author of this true adventure. He is following the trails of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a vigilante group that hunts down Japanese mega boats illegally killing whales in international waters. So far they have sunk eight whaling vessels that have been poaching in protected sanctuaries. Farley Mowat, the captain of this mostly volunteer crew, started out with Greenpeace but soon tired of watching passive politics failing to protec ...more
You will never eat fish again, but I already knew this. SAVE THE OCEANS
Mary Ruth Kamp
The story was gripping...
I haven't read a book straight through for months.

Thank you to those who go on these missions to help "the least of these"
-the creatures who cannot protect themselves from the killing machines.

what I hope for is that I can take the truth from the story
- the plight of our oceans and the other animals that inhabit this planet

and do something good with this knowledge.
Make changes in my living....
Support those who are taking direct action...
and figure out what action I
I thought there'd be more mention of whales and the effects of whaling on the ocean and its ecosystems, but this was more about the people aboard the Farley Mowat and Peter Heller's experience on the ship. It felt like such a small fragment of the story that I didn't find it as engaging as I had expected.

I've worked with animal rescues, and I was reminded of several people I've met and worked with while I was reading this book. A large amount, though obviously not all, of the people who have suc
Kate Mollohan
I loved Heller's first novel, The Dog Stars, and was excited to see that he has several non-fiction books, including The Whale Warriors. I have seen segment from the Animal Planet show that featured these eponymous warriors, and would not have otherwise picked up a book about them, given what I saw. I thought I should give it a try, and was instantly engaged. I know some of it had to do with the writing, but it could have also been about the subject matter (the whales themselves, the most mega o ...more
Apr 13, 2008 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Captain Ahab, Moby Dick, and fans of either
Shelves: nature, 2008
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society seem to be doing what few others are: intervening on behalf of the living creatures of the ocean. I first encountered the insane but dedicated Captain Paul Watson in the movie version of Sharkwater and was in awe of all that Sea Shepherd gets up to. The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals is a polemic adventure story and an important objective description of one of Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling campaigns in ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Juha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone.
Shelves: japan, environment
As Japan is again continuing its whaling in the Antarctic waters against international law and the world's public opinion, this book describing the winter 2005-2006 campaign by Sea Shepherd is very timely. On January 9th under cover of darkness, three Australian Sea Shepherd activists managed to board the Japanese harpoon ship Shonan Maru No. 2 when it was just 26 km off the Australian west coast. The Japanese proceeded to arrest the environmentalists and took them to Tokyo, where a court releas ...more
At first I wasn't too into this book and found the writer's description of the ecowarriors a bit corney, but as the story progressed and the writer informed us more about the state of our oceans and the survival of whales, i had a hard time putting it down. depressing stuff. it's sad there is not more outcry against whaling-all nations that still whale are progressive and wealthy nations, they have no excuse except to profit and be greedy.( norway, japan and iceland.)no one needs to eat whale an ...more
the bad guys here are the japanese whalers who, flagrantly defying an international moratorium, go out each year to slaughter endangered whales. no nation wants to confront the japanese. greenpeace will go out and non violently bear witness but won't actively engage the whalers.

enter our heroes: the sea shepherd conservation society and captain paul watson (the controversial co-founder of greenpeace who has since become the malcolm x to their mlk). in their battle-configured vessel, and flying
L'argomento è davvero interessante, e per questo il libro aveva preso inizialmente 4 stelle. Consiglio a chi lo vuole leggere di prenderlo in lingua originale, perché la traduzione italiana fa davvero schifo. Mi chiedo dove prendano queste persone che arrancano per mettere insieme una frase, che poi in realtà devi rileggere più di una volta perché, a un certo punto, ti fermi e ti chiedi "ma scusa, ma che cazzo ho letto??!!".
Peccato, perché se il testo scorresse in una lingua italiana decente e n
Kim Stallwood
I recognize that it takes all sorts to make up the folks who constitute the animal rights movement. Among them are the celebrated heroes and villains and those who go about their work unsung but live forever in the hearts of the animals they’ve helped. Each one is unique – yes, that’s a cliché – but some (to mangle a phrase) are more unique than others. One such activist who is truly unique is Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Fund.

Watson, a much admired figure in the animal rights movemen
I didn't read all of this book, but I read enough to get an understanding of how whales and the whaling industry are doing in the 21st century.

The book also gave an idea of how extreme people involved in both sides can be. The people I met observing the whales with Earthwatch were much more reasonable and relateable than the Sea Shepherds. On the other hand, one of the research assistants here did overhear someone expressing his hatred for whales because they "eat all the fish." Sigh.
Whether you agree with what they are doing or how they are doing it, you have to admire them for their dedication to their cause. This book chronicles the Sea Shepherds as they seek to disrupt and thus end the Japanese "scientific/commercial" whaling. Their tactics are extreme, some would say dangerous. They seek to intervene rather than just observe. Whether you like this book or not depends on how you feel about extreme environmentalism. If you believe these whales need to be protected by any ...more
David Bales
Pretty thrilling and suspenseful book about the "Sea Shepherd" group of eco-warriors led by Captain Paul Watson, one of the original founders of Greenpeace, who found Greenpeace's methods of stopping whaling inadequate. Heller goes along on an anti-whaling voyage of the Sea Shepherd's flagship "Farley Mowat" to the Southern Ocean off Antarctica to confront with direct action Japanese whalers operating in Australia's Antarctic whale refuge. While Sea Shepherd is by self-description a vigilante gr ...more
My wife and I love Whale Wars. I got this book expecting it to be sort of a more detailed "prequel" to the Whale Wars series that got a little more in depth with each of the characters and what went on during their actions at sea. Unfortunately, most of the book was just about how awful the voyage is with the constant reeling of the ship, mixed in with a lot of conservationist filler material. The actual action is quite lacking.

However, the book wasn't all bad--I got a look at Captain Watson tha
Jp Bleibtreu
I cried at the end of this book. An absolute page tuner and inspirational masterpiece. There is so much wrong on the seas and so few doing things to set it right. I had read other articles in magazines by Heller and was reminded a few pages in of his deft skill at weaving hard factual data, observational journalism and emotional insight into a cohesive whole. Everyone should be required to read this. I was surprised by the intensity with which he ended the book then blindsided by the epilogue.
This book tells it like it is! The author was on the ship and actually saw the needless slaughter of whales taking place!
Very well written, but of course, the highlight for me was the fact that my son is mentioned in the book!
Part lesson in species preservation, part adventure on the high seas, and part sad reality, The Whale Warriors is a real-life account of one of the world's most dedicated ocean conservationists. Paul Watson is the head of the Sea Shepherd organization, and each Antarctic summer he and an incredible team of volunteers take to the Southern Ocean in an attempt to stop (at least some of) the whaling that still happens there. In defiance of international anti-whaling treaties the Japanese kill about ...more
This is my second Heller book. Very much enjoyed how he captured the character of the Sea Shepard crew along with the tense and harrowing action during their efforts to stifle the illegal activities of the Japanese whale hunting fleet.
Carol Chapman
The very beginning and toward the end, this book dragged a bit. I suspect the author had to add some padding to make an article the length of a book. That said, the central portion of the book was quite interesting. It makes you sick to learn of the whaling activities taking place in parts of the world. It was also very interesting to see a comparison of the Sea Shepherd organization with Greenpeace. I had not heard of Sea Shepherd before, but after reading this book, I want to learn more and po ...more
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Did this book provoke you into taking action? 4 9 Aug 29, 2011 10:26PM  
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There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Peter Heller holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in both fiction and poetry. An award-winning adventure writer and longtime contributor to NPR, Heller is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek. He is also the autho
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“In the November 2006 issue of Science, a report by an international team of scientists studying a vast amount of data gathered between 1950 and 2003 declared that if current trends of fishing and pollution continue, every fishery in the world's oceans will collapse by 2048...The oceans as an ecosystem would completely collapse.” 4 likes
“The albatross hit the top and canted her soft belly to the storm, and made a screaming banked peel-out downwind and over the other side. I don't know if anyone else on the ship saw her. To me, she was a visitation. Not harbinger or annunciation, but a simple reminder of a wold that worked, that was at home with itself and friends with storm.” 1 likes
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