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A community living on Lembata Island are completely dependent on the ocean for their food. In a village called Lamalera they use simple and traditional methods to fish, that haven’t changed for years. It's the whaling season – and the villagers are determined to catch migrating sperm whales. A huge effort by the villager’s results in a successful fishing trip and after a long and tiring battle, a sperm whale is caught. The villagers of Lamalera catch only around six whales a year. This is called subsistence whaling. Catching a whale transforms the villagers' fortunes as whale meat; bone, skin and blubber all serve as currency on this remote island.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
16 March 2011

Classroom Ideas

Locate Lembata Island on a map. Use this clip to exemplify how humans interact with a major ecosystem and how we can adapt to different environments. Students could consider what might happen to the people of Lamalera if whale stocks continue to decline. A useful introduction to sustainability.