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Oil and Water—18th-Century Whale and Basking-Shark Fisheries of Donegal Bay, Ireland



The whale fisheries of Scotland and England have long been the source of much attention in scholarly journals and statistical economic reports. The whale fisheries of Ireland—albeit of a miniscule scale in comparison—have generated little other than local interest. The whale and basking-shark fishery in Donegal Bay is unique. It was conducted by the inventor of the first swivel-gun harpoon, Thomas Nesbittt, who also built the first and only Irish whale-rendering plant at Port, Inver, Donegal Bay, where he undertook shore-based whaling at a time when other European whaling industries were based in the northern seas.

© 2007 The Author