Calls from the deep: do we need to Save the Whales all over again?

Fifty years ago, a hit album proved whales “sing” – and led to one of the 20th century’s great environmental success stories. But soon it could all be for nothing

In June 1975, a small group of activists set off from the coast of California in an 85ft boat. They were headed for the Dalniy Vostok factory ship, which was at sea conducting business as usual: harpooning sperm whales.

The activists were members of Greenpeace, an organisation that had only recently been founded, in Vancouver in 1971, and they were setting out to meet the Russian whaling ship under the banner of what would become one of the most famous slogans of the environmental movement, Save the Whales.

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