Whale Book

Reporter: Graeme Butler

When you look at these magnificent creatures at play in the waters of W.A it's hard to believe that just 30 years ago they were hunted to the brink of extinction.

Chris Pash was a cadet journalist at the time working for the Albany Advertiser. He's written a book about his experiences in the middle of a conservation clash that ended whaling in Australia. Chris' book is called Last whale.

The effects of the whaling protests in Western Australia are still being felt today. As conservationists clash with Japanese research whalers in the Southern Ocean, the legacy of the protestors in Albany 30 years ago lives on through Greenpeace.

"I think the activists themselves were forgotten as well it was the it turns out was the birthplace of Greenpeace in Australia and the birthplace of Greenpeace international and up until that point it was a purely Canadian organisation" says Chris.

While attitudes toward protecting whales have drastically changed today, just 30 years ago it divided communities.

"The conflict was that there were two very different starkly points of view. In one side you've got ethical issues about the cruelty of killing whales, which was apparent to everyone including me and I went out with the whalers a couple of times and relate well to those guys I like them..." says Chris.

These days Australia still makes a fortune from Whaling but it's but shooting these huge creatures with cameras, not harpoons.

" The Last Whale" by Chris Pash.

RRP $29.95 - Fremantle Press

9430 6331