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Fur seals, whales and tourists: a commercial history of Deception Island, Antarctica

  • J. Stephen Dibbern (a1)


Deception Island in the South Shetland Islands was the site of some of the earliest commercial activity to be carried out in the Antarctic with the early 19th century hunting of Antarctic fur seals. Nearly a century later it was the site of the most extensive anchorage for the reconstructed ships and ocean liners used as non-pelagic whale processing factories. Deception was also the site of what is the only successful land based commercial activity in Antarctic history. The Hektor whaling station operated in Whalers Bay from 1912 until 1931. Most of the remains of the station have now been obliterated by the volcanic activity that occurred in the late 1960s and 1970. By the later part of the twentieth century Deception Island had become a regular stop for the growing Antarctic tourist cruise industry. No other place in Antarctica has been so thoroughly identified with commercial activity.



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Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
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