Reports are just coming in of a third humpback whale being killed in Bequia, in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.
Not such a paradise for whales it would seem.
Please continuing reading for a history of this hunt.
Whilst the IWC currently classifies this hunt as Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling, records indicate that there was no whaling operation of any type established in the Grenadines prior to the mid 19th Century. In 1875/76, William Wallace, (born in Bequia 1840 of Scottish decent), after shipping with American commercial whalers in the 1860s (Ward, 1995), founded the first whaling concern at Bequia (Adams, 1970, 1971). In the mid-1880s, Wallace entered into a partnership with one Joseph Ollivierre, a Frenchman who owned the Pager Farm Estate on Bequia (Ward, 1995). Ollivierre then went onto found a second whaling station at Petit Nevis, and added to his operations in the Bequia islands.
The operations which developed were commercial - supplying mainly whale oil, although attempts were made to develop a market for fertiliser or additives to cattle feed, as well as a programme to introduce canned whale meat into Paris and New York, (Sambon, 1923).
It is estimated that 25,000 and 500,000 Imperial gallons of whale oil were produced by at least six whaling stations in St Vincent and the Grenadines, employing at least 100 men between the 1890s and 1925 (Adams, 1970, Ward 1995, Mitchell et al.1983).
No whales taken between the years of 1949 and 1957, possibly due to the slump in demand for whale oil products which afflicted much of the whaling industry world-wide. However, a catch of three humpbacks in 1958 is believed to have given renewed impetus to the fishery (Adams, 1971) and a new processing plant was built at Petit Nevis in 1961.
In recent years, meat is believed to have been the most important product from humpback whaling in Bequia (Adams, 1975). Most of the surplus oil, not used in St. Vincent or Bequia, was exported to Trinidad for use in cooking or in the manufacture of soap and candles (Caldwell and Caldwell, 1975).