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What to do about whales?


Brigid Veale
31 May 2005
Southern Cross University's Whale Research Centre will host the screening of a compelling documentary covering all sides of the international debate over the future of whales.

″What to do about Whales?″, a film by Michael McIntyre and Kate Clere, will screen at the Byron Surf Club on International Oceans Day on Wednesday, June 8, from 6 to 8pm.

The documentary features whaling yarns from the high seas, accounts of whales who return to the same location for generations, myths of ancestors travelling on the back of the whale, and a story about fighting for the whale's cause in a country where 75 per cent of the population is keen to resume whaling.

Filmmaker Kate Clere said the documentary offered a rare opportunity to observe all sides of the story.

"This documentary provides a rare insight into what motivates people to care so passionately about whether whales should be hunted or not, revealing the complexity of the global choices that are currently being made," Ms Clere said.

Southern Cross University's Whale Research Centre director, Associate Professor Peter Harrison, said the screening of the film included magnificent footage and was a great way to celebrate International Oceans Day.

Professor Harrison said it was also particularly timely with Japan moving to resume whaling of humpbacks.

Japan's proposal to add humpback whales and fin whales to their revised Antarctic whaling program will be outlined at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Korea in June.

"The humpback population that migrates up and down the East Coast of Australia is only now showing signs of ongoing increase, and has still not recovered from the impacts of whaling last century,″ Professor Harrison said.