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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69



The whaling exports are very imperfect, but they show that the greater portion the products of the fishery were not exported from New Zealand, but must have gone to New South Wales, and that whalers foreign countries took their cargoes away without their quantities being known to, or recorded by, the Customs authorities. Thus in the season of 1843-1844 there were sent to England from Wellington alone 850 tons of oil, while 230 tons went from New Zealand to Port Jackson. But early in 1841 American and other foreign vessels engaged in the whaling trade, and wanting repairs or supplies in the colony, and being destitute of page 17 any other means of providing for their disbursements than by selling a portion of their oil, had to pay a duty of 10 per cent, advalorem on what they either sold or ex-changed. The operations of this tax without doubt restricted the amount of oil cleared from the New Zealand ports. From the founding of the colony until the year 1853 whalebone has no place among the returns, though it is evident that a large amount of bone must have been obtained during these years from the large quantity of black whale oil exported of which an account is kept. In one or more years the oil is reckoned as so many casks, and when in this manner recorded has no money value attached. The same thing occurs with the bone, which in some years is entered as so many packages instead of hundredweights, without the value stated. For some half-dozen years scarce any oil appears in the exports, save some 600 gallons of sperm oil, while the whalebone is regularly entered. The value of the whaling products are given as recorded from 1841 onwards:—Sperm oil, £167,458, and 38 casks; whale oil, £165,309, and 256 casks; whalebone, £48,863, and 15 packages. Total whaling product recorded from 1840 to the end of 1888, £381,630.