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Dundee Whaling Expedition

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The Dundee Antarctic Whaling Expedition by William Gordon Burn Murdoch.

The Dundee Whaling Expedition (1892–1893) was a commercial voyage from Scotland to Antarctica.

Whaling in the Arctic was in decline from overfishing. The merchants of Dundee decided to equip a fleet to sail all the way to the Weddell Sea in search of right whales. Antarctic whaling was mostly done from shore-based stations.

On 6 September 1892, four steam-powered whaling ships, the Balaena, Active, Diana and Polar Star, set off.[1] In the end they found no whales they could harvest as the blue whales of the Antarctic were too powerful to be captured. However, the expedition managed to make a profit by collecting numerous seal pelts.

The expedition included the polar scientist William Speirs Bruce and William Gordon Burn Murdoch, surgeon and assistant on the Balaena under Captain Alexander Fairweather.[1] On 8 January 1893, Captain Thomas Robertson of Active discovered Dundee Island (63°30′S 055°55′W / 63.500°S 55.917°W / -63.500; -55.917).[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Voyage of the Balaena, Glasgow Digital Library, retrieved 3 December 2013
  2. ^ "Dundee Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 3 December 2013.