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The British Whaling Trade$
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Gordon Jackson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780973007398

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780973007398.001.0001

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Chapter 7 Expansion and Failure of the Southern Fishery c. 1808-1840

Chapter 7 Expansion and Failure of the Southern Fishery c. 1808-1840

(p.119) Chapter 7 Expansion and Failure of the Southern Fishery c. 1808-1840
The British Whaling Trade

Gordon Jackson

Liverpool University Press

The southern fishery was in no better shape, though it had promised so much at the turn of the century, when it appeared to offer limitless regions for the exploitation of the more valuable sperm whale. In fact, after the major expansion of the 1790s, the Southern Fishery stagnated in comparison with the Northern Fishery, which expanded both its catches and value with the opening up of the Davis Straits grounds. Between 1804-1805 and 1814-1815 the tonnage of Northern whalers grew by sixty-six percent, whereas that of Southern whales actually declined by twenty percent as the trade was forced to make time because of the troubles created by war. Whalers going south-east were disturbed on the Cape of Good Hope fishery, at least four being captured by the Dutch and taken into Capetown in 1804 alone. Whalers going south-west faced the historic difficulties of navigating and victualling in Spanish wasters. The chief Pacific sperm fisheries were still off the coasts of Chile, Peru and California, and around the Galapagos Islands and most of the victualling places, so vital for the Pacific trade, were in Spanish territory: Concepcion and Valparaiso in Chile, Lima and Payta in Peru, and Guayaquil in Ecuador. Captains were once more reluctant to double the Horn, though equally dangerous was the long haul through the south Atlantic for ships that missed the St. Helena Convoy....

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