A Short History of Whaling in Bermuda

By Edward Schortman, published February 1969

Abstract

In 1611 the discovery of ambergris in the area of Bermuda began a local interest in whaling. 1615 is regarded as the date that officially started such activity on Bermuda, and soon after that taxes were imposed on every whale captured. Small companies were formed, even if the majority of the whaling was conducted by families and individuals. In 1687 the tax on whaling was lifted as the activity was recognized to be an absolute necessity for the islanders due to the lack of oil and leather in the area. Taxes were eventually levied again in 1738 by Governor Popple. A full explanation of whaling techniques is given, along with a list of differences between the north- Atlantic whales and the Bermuda ones. Whaling in the Bermudas was not affected by the wars in which Britain was involved as much as whaling in home waters was.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Caribbean
Subjects include: Whaling & Fishing

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