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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - October 2, 2016

Aussie Whaling and Whale watching


Jim is at Rainbow Bay Coolangatta watching dozens of whales moving south.

Questions  
1 Whaling was Australia's 2nd industry - it made ex convicts into 'millionaires' but what was the first 'exploitative' industry?
  Sealing
2 What was the amazing relationship between the Davidson family & a pod of killer whales at Twofold Bay?
  The Orcas herded the whales into the bay
3 Why was Mosman not so fashionable in the 1830's?
  It was the mosman Bros boiling down area and whale factory

• Whale names are mostly obvious - humpback blue etc but the 'RIGHT WHALE' floated when dead and it was the 'right whale to catch'
• It might surprise listeners to know when whaling ended in NSW and Australia? (Byron Bay 1962 Cheynes Bay Albany WA 1978))

Whaling stations were established around Australia in 1820s & 1830s. Whaling became Australia's 2nd primary industry. Blubber was melted down to be used as oil for lamp fuel, lubricants and candles and as a base for perfumes and soaps. Baleen (whalebone) was used for items such as corsets, whips and umbrellas.

Techniques
Early whaling was carried out using small boats, harpooned whales were towed back to whaling stations on shore. The development of harpoon guns, explosive harpoons and steam-driven whaling boats in the late 19th century made large-scale commercial whaling so efficient that many whale species came very near to extinction.

The end of whaling
Over-exploitation eventually ended whaling . 8,300 humpback whales were killed on the east coast between 1949 and 1962. Numbers plummeted laws were passed to protect whales. Whaling ended in 1962 at Cape Byron, now one of the state’s best whale watching sites. Populations have slowly recovered. Of the estimated 200 to 500 Humpbacks left in 1962, the current east coast population is around 10,000. In 2012 1,900 Humpback whales were counted at Cape Solander on their annual migration.

All commercial whaling in Australia ended in 1978 with the closure of the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company, in Western Australia. It is now "WHALE WORLD"

In 1979, Australia adopted an anti-whaling policy,.Whales, dolphins and porpoises in NSW waters are now protected by a 1999 law.

Queensland Whalers  
Harry Robertson

I've sailed the North Atlantic with ice flows in the breeze
I've sailed the Dutch East Indies o'er the calm blue sunny seas
When I think of missing seamen me heart returns again
To a season spent in Moreton Bay with Queensland Whaling Men.

To men who've chased the brumbies, caught bullocks by the tail
It really is no problem to catch a humpback whale
Now men up in the crows nest, so whaling legends go
When they spy a humpback whale they yell out "Thar She Blows!"
But here in sunny Queensland you'll often hear them shout
"There goes a bloody beauty mate, so get yer finger out!"

From Moreton to Caloundra, bronze whaler sharks abound
They wait like dingoes in the scrub for a wounded beast that's down
But for all their bloody savagery, well they just can't compare
With the big bite that the tax man takes when he gets hold of your share!
And when the season's over, we'll head for Brisbane Town
And in the nearest boozer our sorrows we will drown

Yo-ho you Queensland Whalers, you've cut the sugar cane
You've driven herds of cattle o'er the dry and dusty plain
You've dug the ore at Isa, laid countless miles of rail
And now you've come to Moreton Bay to catch a Humpback Whale

 

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