- Historic Sites
‘the Scene Of Slaughter Was Exceedingly Picturesque’
Trapped in its Baja California breeding lagoons, the gray whale was almost harpooned out of existence. Today the growing herd is faced with a different threat that is perhaps just as dangerous
June 1969 | Volume 20, Issue 4
Mr. Marx, the author of The Frail Ocean (Coward McCann, 1967), is a California writer who specializes in conservation of the ocean frontier. He became interested in the gray whale one day in December, 1964, when he sighted whale plumes in the ocean off Malibu and learned they were grays on the way to their warm-water breeding grounds. He spent some time aboard a Scripps Institute of Oceanography vessel in Scammon Lagoon, and subsequently consulted the collection of Captain Scammon’s papers in the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley. These and Scammon’s Marine Mammals were his major sources for this article. Among useful and popular recent books on whales and whaling are Ivan T. Sanderson’s Follow the Whale (Little, Brown, 1956) and E. J. Slijper’s Whales (Basic Books, 1962). Younger readers will enjoy The Story of Yankee Whaling in the American Heritage Junior Library series.