© Tom Forster

The Strait of Gibraltar has long been famous as a luxurious locale for vacationers. Until recently, though, virtually no one has known what a fabulous natural Paradise lies beneath the deep waters of this area. Within this relatively tiny underwater kingdom, for example, more species of whales are to be found than anywhere else on Earth. This tiny haven is both a feeding and breeding ground not only for whales and dolphins, but for countless varieties of sea life, some of which scientists have yet to discover or name.

But the tiny Strait of Gibraltar has now become one of the busiest waterways in the world. Over three hundred huge ships pass through the Strait every day. The giants of the deep are no match for the ferries, tankers, and container ships - some of which are as long as four football fields from end to end. Many whales and dolphins are fatally rammed or maimed every year. If violent death is not their fate, they face anihilation through water pollution or the effects of underwater noise caused by the deafening roar from the tankers' engines, underwater mining and military maneuvers.

What is happening in Gibraltar is a microcosm of what is happening to sea life world-wide. Most people think that whales are somehow environmentally protected, but that is not the case. Every year in Gibraltar alone, countless whales are needlessly killed.

For more than a decade one woman has led a lone crusade to save the whales, dolphins and sealife of this area. Katharina Heyer was a highly successful fashion designer before she discovered - quite by accident - the deadly battle between the Davids of the Deep and the Goliaths of international commerce. Using mostly her own savings, she fought a long and treacherous battle with governments on two continents and business interests stretching from Europe to Asia to establish a hospital for marine life in Gibraltar.

THE LAST GIANTS is not merely Katharina Heyer's story, it is the story whose moral illustrates the unravelling thread by which all life on our planet hangs.