A bold and lyrical exploration of our fraught relationship with the sea's most magnificent inhabitant, the whale. Whales loom large in the human imagination. From a history of animals being harpooned worldwide to today's ecotourism operators and the work of marine biologists, whales have, for centuries, attracted myth, symbolism, significance, and exploitation. But whales, and the waters they inhabit, are changing. Even as the international community draws closer to a ban on factory whaling, whales surface with disturbing news from the deep. Once-rare whale strandings, pollution and toxins accrued in whale bodies, plastics consumed by whales, the stress of exposure to industrial sound, and diseases contracted from livestock are direct results of human activity. Incisive, provocative, and timely, Fathoms uses the story of the whale to examine our own story and that of the health of the planet.
Rebecca Giggs is an essayist and fiction writer whose work focuses on environmental themes. She grew up in Western Australia and now lives in Sydney. Her work has been published widely, including in Meanjin, Overland, Review of Australian Fiction, The Lifted Brow and Best Australian Stories.