Most valuable part of the whale

From: Phil Clapham (
Date: Wed Oct 13 2004 - 06:28:57 EDT

  • Next message: Phil Clapham: "Re: Whales"

    Hi Jason

    These days whales are killed mostly for their meat, which is rather like
    beef. In previous times, the most valuable part of the whale was the oil
    that came from its blubber, which was used (depending on species and
    quality of oil) for everything from lighting (candles, lamps) to

    There is an odd substance called ambergris which comes from the gut of
    sperm whales. It fixes scent perfectly, so was incredibly valuable 100
    years or more ago - the perfume industry paid huge amounts of money
    (thousands of dollars, which was a lot back then) for it. If you found a
    piece on the beach in the 19th century, you would be quite rich!

    Phil Clapham

    Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D.
    Large Whale Biology Program
    Northeast Fisheries Science Center
    166 Water Street
    Woods Hole, MA 02543

    Tel (508) 495-2316 Fax (508) 495-2066

    > what part of the whale is the most valuable to whalers? > thanks > jason

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