The First Whale War

(First posted onFriday, February 16, 2007)

This blog is about the war for the whales, the first battle in 1977 and 1978. The campaign changed Australia from a pro-whaling nation to an international advocate for the whales. It also saw the formation of Greenpeace in Australia.

I worked for the local newspaper, The Albany Advertiser, in Western Australia at the time. Albany was then a small sleepy town on the south coast. Next stop the Antarctic.

The arrival of activists wanting to confront the whalers at the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company, the last whaling station left in Australia, turned the town upside down.

Clashes took place at the gates to the whaling station and 30 miles out to sea — a contest between rubber Zodiacs, open boats, and steel, sea-going whale ships.

I’ve written a book about the events on the people. More on that later. This blog will be a deposit of stories and accounts from that time including photos and documents. The story is from two sides: the whalers; and the activists. The whalers, as you will see, got a raw deal. The activists were all but forgotten.

Chris Pash

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