The Whales' Journey: A Year in the Life of a Humpback Whale, and a Century in the History of Whaling
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From slaughter to sanctuary, this text describes the experiences of the humpback whales as they travel between the cold Antarctic and the warm tropical seas off northern Australia in what is one of the longest migrations in the animal world. It is also the story of human impact on humpback whale populations, which were decimated almost to extinction during the first 60 years of the 20th century. Humpback whales are now protected by a fabric of regulations, sanctuaries, treaties and ultimately by human concern for them and their environment. This illustrated book brings to life the story of whaling in Australia along with the associated tale of the long, sometimes fruitful and sometimes vexed relationship between scientists and whalers. Included are personal accounts of the work and trial of whaling. The book is a message of hope and warning. As the fight to protect the earth's environments and species continues, the sparing of the humpback whale is an engaging tale of success and potential. As we constantly search for new resources to exploit, we need look no further than the humpback whale to see how simple it is to nearly destroy a whole species.
ground and one of the main means of access to the heart of the Antarctic continent. Despite not seeing right whales, the crew reported seeing fin whales. This time they knew that with the right equipment, these whales could be successfully hunted. In 1903, the first humpback whale was ‘commercially’ killed in the south. Using ‘modern’ equipment Norwegian whaler Adolf Andresen, then based at Punta Arenes at the southern tip of Chile, killed a humpback whale in the Straits of Magellan. Andresen
This committee was suspended during the First World War. In 1917 E. Darnley of the British Colonial Office drew the question of the development of the Falkland Islands to others in government. The Colonial Office had proposed a research vessel for the study of whales and whaling. During discussions it was pointed out that excessive hunting had resulted in the collapse of whaling in Greenland and Spitsbergen waters and that a similar threat for the Southern Hemisphere, although not fully
sometimes harassed the dying whale back up to the surface for the final killing either by lance or by explosive bullet fired from a gun.17 Journalist Albert Dorrington visited Twofold Bay in June 1908. Repelled by the stench of the whaling station, but perhaps also influenced by a desire for sensation, Dorrington wrote a lurid description of the station, commenting that ‘Whale offal clings and rots where it holds. On Judgement Day, when the Angel of the Apocalypse has poisoned the land and sea,
and in the sea, when diving. Scientist Lyall Watson, studying humpbacks near Tonga, heard the song while under water. ‘On one occasion’, she wrote, ‘we found ourselves surrounded by underwater leviathans that made the breeding lagoon thrum almost painfully despite the fact that there was not a whale in sight’.4 Analysts use musical terms to describe the song. Each unit of sound, or note, is arranged into a phrase. Each phrase is repeated several times before another is produced. This is then
smaller killers swam past the boat and then swam quickly at an estimated speed of 20 knots at a group of humpback whales. The humpback whales unleashed an ‘awesome display of power and violent upheavals’, Paton recalled. ‘The humpbacks, twice the size of the killer whales, closed ranks and thrashed the sea into huge water spouts.’ The killer whales continued south and the humpbacks north. There was no blood shed.3 Hervey Bay and Shark Bay Hervey Bay is a large (4000 km sq) horseshoe-shaped