Letter: A symbol worth saving

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The Independent Online
GEOFFREY LEAN may well be correct in identifying whaling as relatively unimportant environmentally ('Lift the ban, save the whale', 22 May), but he fails to appreciate that the whale itself is not. Campaigners over the past 25 years who have campaigned for the whale's salvation understood very early on that the call to 'Save the Whale', was in fact a call to save the planet. The whale became a test of man's willingness to preserve the environment.

The suggestion that the minke whale is numerous enough in the Antarctic or North-east Atlantic to sustain a small hunt is irrelevant. What is relevant is the protection of a symbol whose destruction serves few and whose preservation encapsulates a worthy ideal.

The late Sir Peter Scott's comment that 'If we cannot save the whale, we cannot save anything' rings louder and clearer as every year passes.

Nic Davies

Crowborough, East Sussex