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The Whale savers

Life in oceans, rivers and seas

"It is extraordinary, that after centuries of persecution by men, that Whales have such a gentle and tolerant attitude to humans. With incredible brutality and ruthlessness we have decimated almost every single species of Whale. It is difficult to know how we can ever make it up to them".

Laurie Levy, Neal Bethune

August 25, 2022

It is 1983 and Australia. In this film, produced by Neal Bethune and Laurie Levy, we come to understand how Whales can be rescued and how difficult it is to change the killing culture so prominent in the public (civil) service of Australian governments. Whales are now safe to be rescued, thanks to Neal and Laurie and their friends, yet in 2019, nothing else is safe from the conduct described in this timeless film.

Whale species in Australian waters

More than half of all Whale species either visit or live in Australian waters, of the estimated 45 species in Australian waters, nine are Baleen Whales and thirty-six are Toothed Whales. In 2005 the Australian Snubfin Dolphin Orcaelle heinsohn was classified as a new species, likely endemic to Australian waters.

The most often-encountered Whale species in Australia include the Southern Right Whale, Sperm Whale, Killer Whale, Humpback Whale and Blue Whale. The Blue Whale is of course the largest, growing to a length of 33 metres, and a weight of around 200 tonnes.

For some species recovery is proving difficult

Sadly, the most elusive species of Whales may only been countered during stranding events. Some Whale species are in very deep trouble, The North Atlantic Right Whale being just one, its populations depleted by whaling and, like its North Pacific counterpart, the species has shown few signs of recovery. In the eastern North Atlantic sightings are extremely rare. In the western North Atlantic, the population numbers persist at around 300 to 350 animals, with no indications that the population is increasing.


For our Australian friends, it is not a case of once they were heroes, nearly four decades later, they are stronger than ever.