|The Spermacaeti whale brought to Greenland Dock. © NMM|
For centuries whaling was an important economic activity. Many industries found ingenious and varied uses for a huge range of whale products, from oil to bone.
A whale fishery set up to meet this demand would enjoy a boom when hunting a particular species of whale in a particular area.
|The Howland Dock, re-named Greenland Dock in 1763 and used by the London whaling fleet. © NMM|
Eventually there were too few whales left to make the trade economic.
Then the industry would revive in a different area, hunting a different sort of whale, using different techniques.
For many years, the Port of London played a leading role in this trade.