Long Island shore flensing a whale. Here the head
of a large Right or Bowhead whale has been removed from the body. The
baleen plates can be see sticking upwards (the head is upside down here),
baleen was a very valuable and worthwhile part of the whale in the early
days of whaling, but as time went on and substitutes appeared, it became
less important eventually being discarded as not worthy of the time
spent in recovering and cleaning it.
Shore based whaling however has always been more small scale and carried
out by subsistence level fishing communities and so in these circumstances,
it has more likely that as much of the whale will be used as is possible.
Flensing in the shallows allows the huge weight of the whale to be manipulated
more easily by ropes attached taking advantage of the buoyancy in the