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b/w photos, b/w illustrations
This is the first book to describe comprehensively the history of whaling in Brazil, starting with traditional whaling as a Portuguese crown monopoly – the 'royal fish' – and culminating with the introduction of modern ships equipped with harpoon guns in the twentieth century – an initiative led by a British company in Brazil.
The story spans the first whaling by Basque fishermen in colonial Brazil; the story of the British Duder and Brother company in Bahia; the contributions of Norwegian Whalers and their techniques; the controversial setting up of whaling stations managed by Japanese in Brazil; and the conservation movements that led to the eventual banning of whaling after 1985.
This study incorporates original research based on archives in Norway, Brazil and the United Kingdom, and on interviews and correspondence with former whalers and their Japanese and Brazilian managers. Readers will find the treatment of this hitherto barely understood history instructive and frequently fascinating – the attempts to introduce whale meat into the Brazilian cuisine, and the bizarre establishment of a theme park based on an abandoned whaling station are just two examples.
Two historians in different countries have joined forces with their respective areas of interest and speciality to produce this original piece of work. Ian Hart is a respected whaling historian and a Shackleton Scholar. He was the first curator of The South Georgia Museum and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. William Edmundson, who resides in Brazil, has worked for The British Council throughout Latin America, including twenty years in Brazil, and has written extensively on topics relating to the history of this region, principally in Brazil and Chile. His command of the Portuguese language enabled him to consult archives and former whaling personnel in Brazil without which A History of Whaling in Brazil would not have been completed.