Whale Hunters



Whales are among the most loved yet least understood mammals, but for centuries people have hunted them, some species almost to extinction. Tasmania in the 19th century was a focal point for whaling in the Southern Ocean. This even extended to our estuarine waters, particularly the River Derwent. Today, in most countries, there is a different attitude and whales are mostly "hunted" by whale-watchers with cameras rather than harpoons. Despite this, whaling still persists in some countries.


Whales are becoming a more common sight in Tasmanian waters, particularly during the migration season. This is usually from June through spring, when whales travel north from Antarctica to the breeding grounds in the warmer waters of north-eastern Australia. There are now regular sightings as far up the Derwent as the Tasman Bridge. Unfortunately, some migrating whales fall victim to nature, becoming beached and often perishing on our shores.


















Whale Watching Guidelines


The official guidelines for what you can and can't do while watching whales.


National Whale Conservation Fund Website


Some beautiful graphics of whales combined with plenty of information makes this a worthwhile site to visit.


History of Whaling In Australia


Includes information, pictures and videoclips on whaling in Australia.


The Watery World of Whales


Includes information on the history of whaling in Australia.




Ahab's Trade

By Granville Allen Mawer

A look at the long and fascinating history of south seas whaling. (Allen & Unwin)


Killers of Eden

By Tom Mead

Tells the story of the killer whales of Twofold Bay who used to help whalers capture their prey. (Dolphin Books)


Killers in Eden

By Danielle Clode

A more recent work on the killer whales of Twofold Bay with information on the history of whaling in Australia. (Allen & Unwin)


Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises: DK Handbook

By Mark Cawardine

Information on the many different species of cetaceans as well as a brief section on the human relationship with them. (Dorling Kindersley)


Whale: Eyewitness Guide

By Vassili Papastavrou

An illustrated look at whales, whaling and whale watching done in the style which only DK can do. (Dorling Kindersley)