The Jan Mayen whaling industry - Its exploitation of the Greenland right whale and its impact on the marine ecosystem

L Hacquebord*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


After a relatively late discovery of the island, Dutch whalers used Jan Mayen as a base for their whaling industry. They built stations on the west coast of the island where they rendered whale oil from the blubber of the Greenland right whales. Altogether the whalers stayed for twenty-two years on Jan Mayen. In this period, approximately 1000 Greenland right whales (Balaena mysticetus) were killed and processed on the island leaving much uneaten plankton behind in the sea. Plankton-eating birds must have taken advantage of the situation and it is likely that the number of seabird rookeries on Jan Mayen increased. The combination of written sources and field data makes Jan Mayen a very challenging island for research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJan Mayen Island in Scientific Focus
EditorsS Skreslet
Place of PublicationDORDRECHT
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1-4020-2955-1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventNATO Advanced Research Workshop on Jan Mayen Island in Scientific Focus - , Norway
Duration: 11-Nov-200315-Nov-2003

Publication series

NameNATO Science Series IV Earth and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print)1568-1238


OtherNATO Advanced Research Workshop on Jan Mayen Island in Scientific Focus


  • Jan Mayen
  • history
  • archaeology
  • whaling
  • plankton
  • ice drifts
  • flora and fauna

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