cover of The North Atlantic Right Whale by Joann Hamilton-Barry ISBN 9781771087483 with a female right whale with calf

Hamilton-Barry Joann
The North Atlantic Right Whale
Past, Present and Future
Nimbus Publishing Ltd, Canada, 2019
ISBN: 9781771087483, 100 p. € 16,99

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the largest and one of the most endangered mammals of the world. It was almost extirpated by whalehunting. In 1935, the year that the hunt was banned, only 100 individuels were left. The bann was followed by a period of slow recovery untill a population number of 400 animals was reached. But the growth is over now. A large mortality and a low reproduction rate makes extiction, if nothing fundemental changes, in the near future indespensable.

Joan Hamilton-Barry wrote a small and informative book about this iconic species, who once also occupied the European waters. There are introductory chapters about the history of whaling and biology of these Right whales, followed by a discussion of the treads to these whales, most of them came from humans who live nearby on the dense populated coasts of the U.S.A. and Canada. This makes the auther to call this species the "urban whale". But there are many intelligent approaches to save the North Atlantic right whale. Joan Hamilton-Barry gives a overview of the threads, what is be done and what would be done to save this right whale.

The booklet also contains some information about the whalewatching of the Norh Atlantic right whale. It is useful to learn that the minimum distance of a whalewatcher boat to a righ whale is at minimum 450 meter in the USA while in Canada this distance is only 100 meter. The book also conatains a list of museums and visitor centers along the North American East coast where you can learn a lot about this right whale.

The author makes an intelligent use of illustrations and informative boxes to clear up her story. Furthermore, stories about individual whales, which can be found in the "Right Whale Catalog", are used to illuminate the story. It results in a vivid and accessible account which gets the attention of the reader and holds it. This book is recommended to everyone who feels involved in the survival of the North-Atlantic right whale.

Raymond Haselager

Right Whale Catalog

Adopt a Whale, or Two

Canadian Whale Institute

Canadian Stranding Network MARS

North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis