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Right Whales: Past and Present Status.

Another volume of historic interest is "Right Whales: Past and Present Status " published as Special Issue 10 of the International Whaling Commission, The

Red House, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge CB4 4NP, England, and edited by R. L. Brownell, Jr., P. B. Best, and J. H. Prescott. This book constitutes the proceedings of a workshop on the status of right whales held in 1983, and includes many interesting and authoritative studies on the historic exploitation and current status of these species worldwide. Articles are presented on the history of right whale catches in Japanese waters, in the eastern North Pacific (south of 50 [degrees] N and east of 180 [degrees] W), archaeological evidence of the 16th century Basque right whale fishery in Labrador, a review of old Basque whaling and its effect on the right whales of the North Atlantic, the Long Island, N.Y., right whale fishery between 1650 and 1924, and American pelagic whaling for right whales in the North Atlantic.

For the southern hemisphere, articles discuss nineteenth century right whale catches of the southern coasts of western Australia, right whales caught off southeastern Australia and New Zealand, a catch history of French right whaling in the south Atlantic, and shore-based right whale catches off southern Africa between 1792 and 1975. In addition, Howard Braham provided an annotated bibliography of right whales in the North Pacific, discussing some 108 items with data on sightings, distribution, abundance, migration, historical catches, life history data, and prey items.

Other papers discuss more recent 20th century research on the records of sightings, distribution, and status of the right whales in areas of both the southern and northern hemispheres. The 289-page volume is hardbound, and each paper includes extensive references. It should be an excellent source of data on the right whales. Cost is US$55.00 plus US$8.00 postage.
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Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1988
Previous Article:On the Northwest: Commercial Whaling in the Pacific Northwest, 1790-1967.
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