A History of Whaling in the Philippines: A Glimpse of the Past and Current Distribution of Whales

  • Jo Marie V. Acebes
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 12)


Little is known about the history of whaling in the Philippines. This chapter aims to document the nature and extent of whaling in the Philippines from the nineteenth century to recent times, identify past whaling grounds and compare these with current distributions of the species of whales hunted. The comparison illustrates changes in the historical abundance and distribution of these species, enhancing understanding of what brought about these changes and providing a basis for further investigations into the ecological and social impacts of changing abundance and distribution. Field studies were conducted at known former whaling locations, and historical records, published works, popular accounts, town records and news articles were also examined. Given the limited available data examined, the practice of whaling in the country is only traced back to the nineteenth century. Decrease in the frequency of sightings and encounters are attributed to a number of factors which include past and recent commercial and small-scale whaling activities by foreign and local whalers and other disturbances such as increased boat traffic and habitat degradation due to development of coastal areas. Further research is needed to make a more comprehensive illustration of these changes and understand the factors that caused it.


Humpback whale Sperm whale Philippines American whaling Whaling history 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asia Research CentreMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia

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