On the Northwest
441 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jan 1988
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

On the Northwest

Commercial Whaling in the Pacific Northwest, 1790-1967

UBC Press

On the Northwest is the first complete history of commercial whaling in the Pacific Northwest from its shadowy origins in the late 1700s to its demise in western Canada in 1967. Whaling in the eastern North Pacific represented a century and a half of exploration and exploitation which involved the entrepreneurs, merchants, politicians, and seamen of a dozen nations.

The results of the whaling effort mirrored the outcome of whaling throughout the world. By exploiting the large whales without considering their finite numbers or reproductive capacity, the industry drove its prey to commercial extinction.

It was the seamen themselves, however, who gave substance to the business of whaling. On the Northwest focuses on the working lives of these men: the shellbacks 'before the mast,' the colourful harpoon gunners who chased the whales from spray-soaked gun platforms, and shore-station workers who preserved the international flavour of the Pacific Northwest whaling industry until its demise only two decades ago.

Solid scholarship and showy style. On the Northwest is a substantial and readable addition to the published history of whaling ... Webb has written a superior, robust work of whaling scholarship that also provides an unusual slant on regional history. Kenneth R. Martin, International Journal of Maritime History
Extremely able and well-written. J. M. Bumsted, The Beaver
One of the most important books ever written about whaling. William M. Fowler, Jr., Log of Mystic Seaport
Robert Lloyd Webb is the curator at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine.




1 Below Eagle Town

2 Cruising Over the Ground

3 Ominous Visitations

4 Glancing Blows

5 Warring on Whales

6 Skytteren

7 Consolidated Whaling

8 In the Meat Business


A The Journal of the Caroline on the Northwest Coast, September 1843

B The Rose Harbour Whaling Station, 1928 Notes



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