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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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

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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