The occurrence of seals and whales in the S Atlantic was reported by Captain Cook in 1775, as he took possession of South Georgia for Great Britain.
Sealing commenced there in 1786/87, and in the first 50 years 1,200,000 fur seals had been killed for their fur.
Antarctic whaling began in 1904/05 at S Georgia. Between 1905 and 1912, whale oil became an important commercial commodity, competing with other oils in the market place. It was a basic ingredient in the production of soap, candles, margarine, and glycerin for explosives.
The entire Antarctic catch of 258,000 barrels of whale oil in 1917/18 was destined for West Float
Docks in Birkenhead. Find out more about this incredible local link and the Wirral industries that used this oil in their products, which were then sold worldwide.
With stunning images from Brian's visits to South Georgia and Antarctica, you will see how 50 years of international protection has seen seal and whale numbers increase in the South Atlantic.
The challenge now is to protect the wildlife and its pristine environment from new man-made threats of pollution and global warming.