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A Brief History of Whaling

A Brief History of Whaling ... The commercial whaling fishery in the United States is thought to have started in the 1650s when a series of contracts that were established between Long Island residents and the Shinnecock Indians ... Further North, the Wampanoag Tribesmen are thought to be the first inhabitants of the US’ North East coastal areas ... They Engaged in Drift-Whaling ... This early method of Whaling sought out dead or dying whales that had washed ashore. When fishing, these same Native Americans used small harpoons to catch bait and larger fish that was eaten ... Whaling Becomes an Industry... It didn’t take long for these newly developed harpooning skills to mature to the point that live whales could be captured, killed and processed for their Blubber, Oil, and Bones ... These newly discovered commodities were harvested, processed, and sold into newly established markets. Examples are Whale Meat for nourishment, Lamp Oil for light, and Bones for the manufacturing of corsets, collar stays, buggy whips, and toys ... Refined Oil ... Quickly, whaling became an extremely lucrative business because the industrial revolution had begun. New industries emerged that needed light and lubrication for new products ... The whaling industry quickly responded by producing three new types of raw materials ... These included Whale Oil, Spermaceti Oil, and Whale Bones. Of these three, Spermaceti oil was the most valuable. This is because this oil was very fine and only found in the head of Sperm Whales ... The process that separated whale oil from whale blubber is called ... Trying-Out ... This was achieved by heating a whale’s blubber in large iron pots ... Processing the Products ... The blubber would melt and the whale oil would float to the top of the iron pots where it was skimmed off and placed into ... Wood Barrels ... that were loaded onto ships, and distributed to markets worldwide. Over time Whale Oil became a highly sought after commodity that lubricated new and sophisticated machines that depended upon it before the development of Petroleum-Based Lubricants ... thus it was highly regarded for its use in illumination, by burning the oil on cloth wicks or by processing the material into Spermaceti Candles ... which were expensive and prized for their clean-burning properties. Chemically, Spermaceti is more accurately classified as a wax rather than an oil ...... Whalebone ... This is Baleen Plates taken from the mouths of ... Baleen Whales ... It was commercially used to manufacture materials that required light but strong and thin supports such as in women's corsets, umbrella and parasol ribs, crinoline petticoats, buggy whips and collar-stiffeners were also commonly made of ... Whalebone ... The practice of whaling was worldwide it went as far back as 1791. Products from the ... Northeastern Whaling Fleet ... This represented a major portion of the American GDP for nearly 100 years ... Mother Nature Saved the Whales when She created Petroleum ... It was discovered in 1854 which was during the second half of the 19th century ... Aboriginal People are Whalers ... This still occurs within the boundaries of a very few countries and predated the arrival of ... European whalers ... Limited amounts of Whaling is currently practiced using the exception granted by the ... The International Whaling Commission ...This body allows some subsistence whaling by Native Peoples in different parts of the world. Mostly this practice is allowed for cultural reasons. Only a few nations and tribes allow this. Catches have increased from 18 whales in 1985 to over 70 in 2010. The latest IWC quota regarding the Subsistence Hunting of the Bowhead Whale Allowed for up to 336 to be killed in the period 2013–2018. Residents of the United States are also subject to U.S. Federal government bans against widespread Whaling ... Whaling is the Process of Hunting Whales for their usable products such as ... Meat, Blubber and Bones ... It was practiced as an organized industry as early as ... 875 AD ... By the 16th century Whaling had risen. It became the Principal Industry in the Basque Coastal Regions of Spain and France ... From there the industry spread rapidly, and became increasingly profitable because of the trade and resources. Some regions of the world's oceans had a particularly dense population Whales, and these became the targets for ... Very Large Concentrations of Whaling ships ... This in turn led to ... The Depletion of Some Whale Species to Near Extinction ... and The Banning of Whaling in many Countries ... In addition, The International Cessation of Whaling as an Industry was Agreed Upon in the 1980’s ... Early Whalers ...The earliest known forms of whaling date back to at least ... 3000 BC ... That’s why many coastal communities around the world have long histories of ... Subsistence Whaling ... While it is not well known ... Dolphins ... also engage in Whaling and they do this by ... Harvesting Drift Whales ... Dolphins are smart mammals. It could be possible that the Dolphins learned this method by observing early human Whalers ... In the early 17th century widespread commercial whaling expanded significantly by building organized fleets of large Sailing Ships that hunted Whales around the globe ... By the 19’s century national whaling industries flourished ... In addition, the Introduction of Factory Ships and Explosive Harpoons along with the added benefits of being able to chase down healthy Whales in addition to continue the process of Whale Harvesting ...In the first half of the 20th Century More Than 50,000 Whales were Killed Annually ... By 1986 ... The International Whaling Commission ... Banned Commercial Whaling because of the extreme depletion of most of the earth’s stocks of whales. As a result ... Whaling for Whale Meat Continues to be an Industry Wide Target of Intense Debate ... Canada, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, the United States and Denmark all have historic dependencies related to Whale Meat, Oil, and Skeletal Remains ... In addition, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Norway, South Korea, and Iceland continue to have, or have had, historic dependencies on Whale Meat for nutrition. ... These countries wish to lift the International Whaling Commission’s restrictions on Whaling ... Anti-Whaling Countries and Environmental Activists Oppose Lifting the Ban ... However, Aberrational Whaling Is Allowed to Continue On a Subsistence Basis ... Whale Watching ... This activity has become a significant industry booster in many parts of the world. It is an effective promoter of efforts that help to Save our Whales ... In most countries Whale Watching far exceeds the necessity to eat whale meat ... but in a few others, the two business models exist simultaneously ... Indigenous Native Americans ... Men hunt seals, sea lions, and whales from their canoes. They also catch fish and hunt for deer, birds an small animals. Women gather clams shellfish, berries and roots ... In Some Cultures, Whales are Believed to Offer Themselves up as Food to help the People Survive, and Therefore Hold a Special Position of Honor and Respect Among Indigenous Peoples Around the World ... This can be compared with the value that Salmon, Buffalo, Bears and Birds do for Native Americans who live on the Great Plains ... In 1982 The IWC voted to establish a Moratorium on Commercial Whaling of Great Whales ... This was Implemented ... Beginning in 1992, the IWC's Scientific Committee Requested that it be Allowed to Give Quota to catch fish for bait ... Doing this has sharpened the techniques that are very valuable aboard whaleships ... Scrimshaw ... This is the practice of drawing on whale teeth or other forms of ivory with various tools. Typically these are a sailor's knives or other sharp instruments. The finished images were then coated with ink so that the drawing would appear more noticeable on the whale tooth. It is believed that some instruments used by sailors to perform scrimshaw included surgical tools, as with the work done by whaling surgeon. Other forms of ivory included a whale's pan bone, Walrus Ivory, and Elephant Ivory were other materials used for scrimshaw. Naturally, the most common scrimshaw carvings produced during the whaling era were taken from whale parts. Other forms of scrimshaw included whalebone fids (rope splicer), bodkins (needle), swifts (yarn holding equipment) and sailors' canes. The time when most scrimshaw in the 19th century was produced coincided with the heyday of the whaling industry which occurred between 1840 and 1860. More than 95% of all antique scrimshaw whale teeth known were done by anonymous artists. Some of the better known antique scrimshaw artists include Frederick Myrick and Edward Burdett, who were two of the first scrimshanders to ever sign and date their work. Several museums now house outstanding collections of antique scrimshaw and two of the best being the

New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. and the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor,

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