Voyage to the Arctic: A Whaler's Tale

The End of Hull's Whaling Industry

What happened to Hull's Whaling Industry?

Hull's whaling industry began to decline in the 1830s. By the 1850s only a handful of Hull whaling ships were left.


During the early 1800s Hull's many whaling ships had been very successful, but because they were managing to catch so many whales, and make lots of oil, the price of whale oil went down - from £30 to £20 per ton. So whaling became less profitable.


In the year 1821 nine whaling ships were lost in the Arctic. This was a devastating blow! Whaling was made even more difficult in the 1830s because of the way in which the Arctic icepacks were being formed. The ice began to pile up much earlier in the season than was usual. Out of a total of 33 Hull whaling ships, eight came home without a single whale caught and six more were crushed in the ice!


This spelled the end of the whaling industry in Hull!  The disastrous voyage of The Diana in 1866 signalled the very end of Hull's whaling industry - it was the last whaling ship to leave Hull.


Discover the disastrous journey of  The Diana in the 'Voyage to the Arctic: A Whaler's Tale' led session! Click here to go to led session information.


Document icon Learning article provided by: Hull Maritime Museum | 
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