The Last Whale by Chris Pash - book launch

The Last Whale, a true Australian story set in the 1970s about the battle for the last whaling station in the English-speaking world, will be launched at the Sprung Writers' Festival at Albany, Western Australia, in September 2008.

The book, to be published by Fremantle Press, gets inside the heads of Australia's last whalers and anti-whaling protesters as they battle across the Southern Ocean off Western Australia.

The author, Chris Pash, was a reporter at the Albany Advertiser in 1977 during Greenpeaces' first direct action in Australia.

Among the protesters was Canadian Bob Hunter, Greenpeace's first president.  Bob Hunter, Australians Jonny Lewis, Tom Barber and Allen Simmons, and Frenchman Jean-Paul Fortom-Gouin used Zodiac inflatable boats to place themselves between the harpoons and sperm whales, forming human shields.

The Cheynes Beach Whaling Company operated three whale chaser ships from Albany to hunt sperm whales.

The book follows the lives of the whalers and the protesters until the last whale to be taken by Australians, a female sperm whale, was harpooned on 20 November 1978.

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