Overview of the British Southern Whale Fishery
The British southern whale fishery, to the south and west of England, commenced from London in 1775 and for the next 80 years the trade was almost exclusively carried out from London to the south seas. For the first 15 years the trade was conducted primarily in the mid to south Atlantic but by the mid-1790s it had moved to the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Initially, the move was limited to the areas off the coasts of Africa, South America and the east coast of Australia. But by 1815 the trade had spread to the wider Pacific, encompassing areas in the south, central and north Pacific, as well as the rim areas between Japan and New Guinea. In the Indian Ocean the trade extended north from the Seychelles and into the waters around Timor and the Moluccas.
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