HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

29 March 2016

Whaling Jervis Bay


Jervis Bay has a thriving tourist industry based on whale and dolphin spotting.
These companies still hunt whales,  but in a completely different way.

Between June and August the magnificent Humpback Whales move north along the east coast of Australia, coming from the cold Antarctic where they have spent the summer feeding on krill, they head north to the sub tropical waters of north Australia to mate and give birth.

Then between September and November the whales travel south again, heading back to the Antarctic to feed.

Just like the whale hunters did in 19th century the tour operators today head out from Jervis Bay in large boats seeking whales, but now the boats are filled with tourists all hoping to capture a glimpse of these magnificent animals during the migration.

But,  it wasn't that long ago whales were being chased in the waters near and inside Jervis Bay for a totally different reason.    Between 1949 and 1962,  8300 whales were killed along the east coast of Australia.  mostly humpbacks as the more favoured blue whale and southern right whale had became scarce.

I came across this article from 1918,  about whalers lobbying the government to allow a whale station and processing operation to be built inside Jervis Bay.

Thankfully this operation was never allowed.

This small article is from the 

  • Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW : 1896 – 1938.  Fri 19 Jul 1918

You can see this harpoon gun and much more on display inside the museum,  the display is a real eye opener into the role Jervis Bay played in the whaling industry on the south coast.

You can also see other posts about whaling and jervis bay by typing whales into the search box in the right column.


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