Early whaling methods when sailing ships and row boats were used, did not make a huge impact on whale numbers but when modern whaling methods were introduced with
motorised ships and explosive harpoons whale numbers plummeted. In 1949 there were an estimated 18,000 humpback whales in Australian waters. By 1960 this had been
reduced to just 800. From the 1950s to 1979 it is estimated that 330,000 sperm whales were slaughtered.
Whalers used to always shoot the female whales first as they knew the male whale would stand by and try to defend the dying female, they could then turn their guns on the
male and kill him too.
Whaling was banned in Australia in 1978 with the last whaling station at Albany being closed down. In Albany alone they had managed to
slaughter 12,625 sperm whales since 1963. At the time our state Premier (Charles Court) tried to defend the indefensible by claiming that the Federal Government
was 'putting whales above people'.
Even the local shire council argued against the closure of the whaling station on economic grounds. How far we have come! Who in their right mind would argue for the
continuation of whaling today?
Closure of the last whaling station put 100 people out of work but since then the whale watching industry around Australia has employed thousands and has generated
many millions of dollars from tourists eager to see these magnificent mammals. It is clear now that live whales are worth many times more than dead ones. How foolish
the pro-whalers must feel in light of this.
A live whale will return year after year bringing tourists, providing jobs and enriching our experience of life, time after time. A dead whale can only be exploited ONCE!
Whale numbers along the west coast have slowly increased to a point where now whale sightings during the migration season are very common.
Whales that visit Australian waters include the Southern Right Whale, Humpback, Sperm, Blue, Minke, Pilot, Orca and Dolphin. Altogether 40 species of whales live in
or migrate through Australian waters.
Whales are intelligent, inquisitive creatures and they need our protection.
The causes of whale strandings are still not fully understood but for whatever reason, whales strand themselves regularly and sometimes in large numbers.
From 1984 to 2005 there were 21 mass strandings of whales reported on the coast of Western Australia. While the majority of strandings occur on the south west coast, there
have been strandings on the mid-west, Gascoyne and Kimberley coasts.
Mass strandings near Augusta have had most of the publicity and involved false killer whales. Other species that have stranded include long finned pilot
whales, striped dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, short finned pilot whales, spotted dolphins, orca, Gray's beaked whales and even sperm whales.
When whales strand near large towns there is always an attempt made to return them to the sea. This has been very successful with a total of 612 whales of different species
being saved between 1984 and 2005.
Ban all whaling now!
Please support all efforts to ban whaling by countries like Japan, Russia and Iceland. Whaling is indefensible and must be banned in all the worlds oceans. Pollution is causing
all sorts of havoc in the seas and whales are having a hard enough time surviving without needless slaughter.
Japan in particular exhibits a 'bloody minded' obsession with the slaughter of whales and dolphins. The Japanese government corruptly supports whaling and the slaughter
of dolphins in Japanese waters. They bribe small bankrupt nations in order to get votes to support the insupportable in the IWC. What else could you expect from a nation
that butchered innocent civilians during WWII ? Japan has NO FACE in international affairs until it grows up and stops this obscenity.