A unique exploration into the story of whales in the Southern Ocean


Whales are arguably the most impressive and charismatic of animals in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Few sights are more memorable that witnessing a close encounter with a breaching whale. They are also an animal whose history during the last two and a half centuries is intimately entwined with that of human endeavour in the southern polar regions.

Together with the South Georgia Heritage Trust (with the Friends of South Georgia Island), we presented an evening with three of the world's experts in the study and conservation of whales in the Southern Ocean to discuss the history, science and current efforts to conserve these important species on our planet. A recording from the event on 3 March 2021 is available to watch below. 

This event was held in support of the important work of these charities and all donations are gratefully received. To make a donation in support of UKAHT, click here. 

The Whale's Tale | Watch now

Discover more about the speakers below

Dr Jennifer Jackson The return of the whales to South Georgia island

A review of the legacy of modern whaling and the recovery of whale populations at South Georgia, highlighting some of the new scientific approaches we are using to study whales in the Southern Ocean. Dr Jen Jackson is a senior research scientist at the British Antarctic Survey and is a biologist and geneticist by training. Since 2018 she has organised four research expeditions to study whales at South Georgia. She is also chair of the "Southern Hemisphere" subcommittee at the International Whaling Commission, which oversees population assessments of Southern Hemisphere whale recovery.

Professor Bjørn L. Basberg The Ross Sea: Exploration - Whaling - Politics

The talk discusses the history of whaling in the Ross Sea in the context of earlier and later stages of Antarctic whaling as well as its importance for the geo-politics in the region. Professor Bjørn Basberg is a Professor in Economic History, at The Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen. A main interest for many years has been the economic history of the Antarctic region, in particular the whaling industry. He has spent time at South Georgia working on the industrial archaeology of the former whaling stations there.

Ted Cheeseman The World’s Greatest Zoological Recovery… unobserved?

The talk explores the recovery of the world’s largest whale population — that of the Southern Ocean — and how Antarctic travellers combined with AI technology are playing a key role in understanding evolving Antarctic whale population dynamics. Ted is a Phd candidate, at the Southern Cross University Marine Ecology Research Centre, and is co-founder, Happywhale which he co-founded Happywhale in 2015, the beginning of harnessing the potential of citizen science to help understand the status of Antarctic whales.

This event was held in support of the important work of these charities and all donations are gratefully received.

Make a donation