© capturesawyer | Ocean Azores Foundation
 © capturesawyer

The history of whaling in the Azores and the move to conservation

In the 18th century, boats from America, often called Yankee sailing ships would visit the island of Faial as they would sail the waters hunting whales. This trade was soon adopted by the local population of the islands and so an industry began.

Whales were hunted for over 100 years in the waters around the Azores. With over 12,000 being killed in this trade. However, change for the better would come in 1982, with the International Whaling Commission Moratorium banning whale hunting in Portuguese waters. And the final whale was killed in 1987 on Pico.

Now, the Azores is known for its protection and conservation of these magnificent creatures. With one of the largest marine reserves in the world. Whaling has evolved to watching rather than hunting, with companies and the community making a joint effort towards their conservation.

Baleia Gin aims to reflect the history of the Azores, honouring the culture of these unique islands and contributing to the ongoing conservation efforts of the whales that reside in these waters.

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The history of whaling
Read more about the history of whaling on the IWC website here.


Visit a whaling museum
Find out more about the Azores and whaling by visiting a whaling museum – more.


Whale Watching
Find out more about whale watching with Azores Getaways.


Read our recommended list of companies. We have curated a list of whale watching companies here.