Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick isn’t just a book that isn’t about whaling. In fact, it’s very much about whaling! It’s no wonder that one of the most celebrated of all novels takes as its setting a whaling vessel: killing whales for meat, oil, blubber, and skin is an age-old human endeavor that enjoyed relatively few procedural improvements until recent times. This audiobook, produced by iMinds and narrated by Luca James Lee, is a crisp and clear introduction to this dangerous, often profitable, and even more often ecologically hazardous practice. It can be listened to in about the time it takes to skin a salmon.
Learn about the history of whaling with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.The history of whaling is a fascinating look at international efforts to protect finite resources in international waters, otherwise known as common territory or commons.
While whaling can date back to 6000BC, large-scale whaling is thought to have commenced around the twelfth century with the Basques who killed a large number of right whales in the Bay of Biscay. Despite very primitive modes of slaughter, using hand-held harpoons and man-powered boats, they were believed to have depleted the local whale stocks within a century.
In the following centuries, even without significant technological improvements, whaling continued unchecked in the North Atlantic and resulted in the extinction of the gray whale and a significant reduction in the numbers of other species.
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