History of Humans and Whales in Cape Cod | Capt. John Whale Watch

Have you ever wondered how humans began to interact with the majestic whales that inhabit the waters off the coast of New England? The history between people and whales in the area is a long and complicated one. Today, you can view several species of whale, including humpback whales, fin whales, and minke whales, in Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank by taking a whale watching tour. 

Man and Whales

Let’s take a closer look at the history of interaction between our species and whales in this area.

History of Whale Hunting

Native Americans throughout New England occasionally hunted whales close to the shore for centuries before European settlement. After European settlement in Cape Cod, whaling became a foundation for culture. A booming whaling industry began here early in the 17th century and continued into the beginning of the 20th century.  Whaling played a shorter, but still significant, role in the history of Stellwagen Bank. Whale hunting was most common in this area during the last decade of the 17th century and first decade of the 18th century, ending soon afterwards with the advent of pelagic, or offshore, whaling.

Transition to Whale Watching

As people began to appreciate whales more for their beauty than for the products that could be manufactured from their bodies, the whaling industry in New England began to decline. Tourism in the area became more popular throughout the 20th century, and an integral part of that was whale watching tours. On these tours, boats searched for and followed whales to give passengers a chance to see these majestic creatures, rather than hunt them. The first whale watching tour was taken by a group of school children in 1975, and today is a popular New England activity for tourists and locals alike.

Take a trip with Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours to see the whales that inhabit Cape Cod and Stellwagen Bank today. In addition to having the opportunity to see several different species of whale, you may also spot dolphins, seals, and porpoises. For more information, call us today at (508) 746-2646.

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