Akutan Whaling Station, Akutan Harbor


Akutan Whaling Station, Akutan Harbor

by | Aug 24, 2018

The Pacific Whaling Company built a processing station in 1912 across Akutan Harbor from Akutan village, on Akutan Island, one of the Fox Islands in the Eastern Aleutians, Alaska. It was the only whaling station in the Aleutians and operated until 1939.

Between May and October in the years 1912, 1914-20, 1922-30, and 1934-39 two to seven vessels hunted whales within a radius of approximately 100 nautical miles (185 km) of the station on both the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean sides of the Aleutian Islands and in Unimak Pass. Catches consisted mainly of fin (at least 2498), humpback (1510), blue (835), sperm (482) whales, and right whales (9).

The station was leased to the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945. The upland area and selected intertidal and subtidal areas were contaminated with Bunker C fuel oil resulting from spills. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a cleanup of the site in 1998 and 1999, including the excavation of petroleum-contaminated soil, but deteriorated timber docks and pilings, abandoned steel, and commercial fishing equipment remain. Read more here and here. Explore more of Akutan Harbor here:

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This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2019 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The colour scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

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