Flensing a blue whale 1930's
Whales and Whaling pictures

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Whales and whaling

Such images always remind me of Gulliver at the point where he is tied down by the inhabitants of Lilliput. Fortunately for Gulliver however, he did not suffer the fate of this great blue whale. The chief flenser seen on the back of the whale has made the first cut to remove the blubber blanket - the name given to the great sheet of fatty tissue that effectively wraps the whale. This serves as an enormous food store and also insulates the whale against the icy cold Antarctic seas, unfortunately though, what is so valuable to the whale is also its downfall as it is also so valuable to man.

The precariousness of the chief flensers position can be seen well in this picture as can the thickness of the whale's blubber blanket, spiked boots were sometimes worn to prevent slipping off.

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