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Sustainability 2010, 2(10), 3142-3157; doi:10.3390/su2103142
Article

The Baleen Whales’ Saving Grace: The Introduction of Petroleum Based Products in the Market and Its Impact on the Whaling Industry

*  and Jr.
Department of Business and Economics, The Pennsylvania State University-Lehigh Valley, 2809 Saucon Valley Rd., Center Valley, PA 18034, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2010 / Revised: 22 September 2010 / Accepted: 26 September 2010 / Published: 30 September 2010
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Abstract

This paper presents empirical evidence which indicates that the introduction of petroleum based products on the American markets was a significant factor in reducing the demand for whale oil. As a result, the whaling industry, America’s 5th largest industry at the time, soon collapsed. A counterfactual study is then presented which suggests that if the introduction of petroleum based products had been delayed, then the increase in demand as a result of rising GDP per capita, as well as rapid industrialization, would have given whalers incentive to continue chasing after a diminishing whale population. This could have resulted in the baleen whale population being subject to unsustainable harvest levels.
Keywords: sustainable yield; whaling; sperm whales; baleen whales sustainable yield; whaling; sperm whales; baleen whales
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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McCollough, J.; Check, H.F., Jr. The Baleen Whales’ Saving Grace: The Introduction of Petroleum Based Products in the Market and Its Impact on the Whaling Industry. Sustainability 2010, 2, 3142-3157.

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