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Whaling ship, mid-20th century

Whaling ship, mid-20th century

T725/0150

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Credit

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Whaling ship being used to hunt whales. This is the 'killer' ship, that is used to follow a whale and fire an explosive harpoon at it. This harpoon is fired from the gun mounted on the prow (front) of the boat. The bomb in the harpoon explodes, killing the whale. The dead whale's body is then brought back to the factory ship, which processes it for the oil, blubber (fat layer) and meat. Whale hunting reached a peak in the early 20th century, with up to 40,000 whales killed per year. Fears of extinction led to the signing of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (1946). Photographed by the US Coast Guard between 1935 and 1945.

Release details

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