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Old Whaling Station

Date: 1874
Overall: 253 x 204 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00008259
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    An engraving by Edward Brandard of the "Old Whaling Station" by John Skinner. This station was located on Schouten Island, Tasmania and established by William Clews. As with mainland Australia, the whale oil and bone industry became crucial to the colony's economic viabilty.
    SignificanceThe whaling industry in early Australia was a strong and highly profitable industry. Tasmania was dominant in the area due to having numerous bays that were used by migrating whales to breed. At the peak of the industry in the period from 1828 to 1838, close to 3000 southern right whales were caught by Tasmanian operators.

    HistoryAs on the mainland, whaling became an important staple of the Tasmanian settlements. The seas around Tasmania were rich breeding grounds for southern right whales (eubalaena australis) on their annual migration north.
    By the 1820's enough demand existed to fuel the expansion of the industry throughout Tasmania the next decade saw the establishment of numerous on shore stations throughout Tasmania and the eastern and southern states on the mainland. However by the mid C19 the on shore whaling industry was in decline. The southern right whale had been severely over hunted, overseas demand for whale by produces was on the wane due to cheaper alternatives and whalers were now focusing on off shore whaling or pelagic (deep sea) whaling. The sperm whale was the target and yet by the 1800's this industry too, was almost redundant.
    In its heyday the "Tasmanian whaling industry contributed to the colonial economy directly through substantial export earnings, and indirectly through the development of mercantile and port facilities and its links with shipbuilding and ancillary industries. From 1830 to 1900, a total of 103 vessels were engaged for colonial whaling, many of which were constructed or fitted-out at local shipyards. The local industry also employed thousands of Tasmanian and foreign whalers, who in turn, ensured a lively trade at the many public houses and businesses."("The Companion to Tasmanian History". Kathryn Evans. ed. Alison Alexander, 2005).

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Tilbrook collection

    Primary title: Old Whaling Station

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