Epilogue: Whales and Elephants as Cultural Symbols

  • John H. Peterson Jr.
Keywords: Culture (Anthropology), Environmental protection, Public opinion, Public participation, Subsistence, Whaling, Wildlife management


... In his commentary, Dr. Peterson focuses on two of the papers presented in this volume, those by Ris and Kalland, who analyze the evolving symbolic significance of whales and how this has affected coastal whaling communities in northern Norway. As a discussant of the whaling papers at the Common Property Conference, Dr. Peterson was impressed by the commonality of the problems facing sustainable management of whales and elephants and of the need for environmental scientists to be aware of the symbolic, ethical and philosophical issues involved in managing natural resources such as marine mammals and African large mammal species, which have so excited the imagination of publics and politicians in distant places. ...