American whaling flourished from the late s through the mids. Commercial whaling began in the Atlantic, but as whale populations declined, the chase spread to the Pacific and Arctic oceans. By , overfishing had decimated whale populations in the Atlantic Ocean. Most whalers moved to the Pacific and Indian oceans. Ships traveled north and south with the seasons, following the large whale populations on their annual migrations. This chart was produced by oceanographer Lt.
Whales and Hunting | New Bedford Whaling Museum
The 19th-century whaling industry was one of the most prominent businesses in America. Hundreds of ships setting out from ports, mostly in New England, roamed the globe, bringing back whale oil and other products made from whales. While American ships created a highly organized industry, the hunting of whales had ancient roots. It is believed that men began hunting whales as far back as the Neolithic Period, thousands of years ago. And throughout recorded history, the enormous mammals have been highly prized for the products they can provide.
Prized Resources of the Tohorā
Today Nantucket Island is a fashionable summer resort: a place of T-shirt shops and trendy boutiques. Part of what makes the island unique is its place on the map. For a relatively brief period during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, this lonely crescent of sand at the edge of the Atlantic was the whaling capital of the world and one of the wealthiest communities in America.
Learn which whales were hunted and why; how they captured and processed them; how technology changed the industry. Whaling was an exceptionally dangerous business both physically and economically. In the Yankee whale fishery injuries and death were common to almost every voyage.