Aborigines, Maoris and Hull's whaling industry

Blubber Pot

This is a large whale blubber pot that was found abandoned on the west coast of Australia. Blubber pots would normally be found on board whaling ships, where blubber was refined to oil which was then used in the production of different items. Humans have hunted whales since the prehistoric times, however there has been much controversy regarding whaling in more recent times and many species of whales are now endangered. Whaling is still allowed in some countries such as Japan, Norway and Iceland but only on a small scale and it is closely monitored.


Whales were hunted mainly for their meat and their blubber. Whale meat is a traditional part of the diet in some countries such as Japan, Iceland and the Arctic. Blubber is a thick layer of fat found under the skin of some marine animals (such as whales, dolphins, seals etc). It is essential to these animals, it helps them store energy and retains heat.


The blubber was removed from the whale and cut into pieces then placed in the blubber pot. Blubber pots would be found on the deck of whaling ships, where it would be mounted in a brick oven. As the blubber was heated it produced an oil. This oil was used in the manufacture of common items such as soap and cosmetics, as fuel in oil lamps and to lubricate machinery.

This item can be seen at Hull's Maritime Museum»

Document icon Learning article provided by: Hull Maritime Museum | 
This content is licensed under Creative Commons BY NC SA

Accessibility Statement | Terms of Use | Site Map

Copyright © My Learning 2018. All Rights Reserved

Website by: Grapple