Here, at Fishing Bay, the Perano family began a career in whaling that would last from 1911 until 1964, when gunner Trevor Norton shot the last whale in New Zealand waters. (Photo not to reproduced without permission from Alexander Turnbull Library, ref. PAColl-8163-38.) During the Second World War a complete army camp housing 60 soldiers sprang up on Perano's Whekenui farm, which was adjacent to his Fishing Bay station. Photograph taken circa July 1948, by Dr W Arriens. Photo top: Whale being processed at Perano Whaling Station, Fishing Bay, Tory Channel. Whaling in the Marlborough Sounds began when John Guard established the first land-based whaling station, Te Awaiti, next to Fisherman's Bay, in 1827. The Last Whaling Station. For the past 26 years, the last whaling station in America has sat idle alongside a burned-out wharf in Richmond. The abandoned whaling station at Leith Harbour on South Georgia in the south Atlantic looks as if it has been bombed. Whaling out of the Bay made a comeback after World War II, when Del Monte Fishing Company (1956 to 1971) and Golden Gate Fishing Company (1958 to 1965) operated out of stations at Point Molate in Richmond, hunting sperm, humpback, fin, and sei whales in the open ocean. Tucked in Fishing Bay in the outer Marlborough Sounds, prominent structures of the surviving whaling station still stand. Rusty steel chimneys lie collapsed across the roadways. Shows men in oil-skins on the whale, which is partially covered by a shed at the end of a jetty. Joe Perano's Fishing Bay whaling station became a small community in its own right. Up to 32 whalers lived there with their families throughout each winter whaling season.
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