In 2004 the New Zealand Department of Conservation called on former whalers to help spot whales – for conservation purposes, not hunting. The department wanted to find out whether whale numbers had recovered with the end of commercial whaling. The survey over a fortnight in June counted 53 whales, mostly humpbacks but also several blue whales, as they swam north in their annual migration. The recovery of humpbacks around New Zealand has not been as successful as in other places, including Australia. The ex-whalers, four of whom are pictured here, included Joe Heberley, Peter Perano, Tommy and John Norton, and Basil Jones.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Nadine Gibbs
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