Whaling expedition of the Ulysses 1937-38

Quentin R. Walsh, Peter Joseph Capelotti

Research output: Book/ReportBook

1 Scopus citations


In the spring of 1937, Coast Guard Lieutenant Quentin Robert Walsh received a special assignment aboard the whaling factory ship Ulysses. His orders were to monitor the commercial operation's compliance with international agreements protecting marine life, and what he observed shocked him. The Ulysses flew the American flag, but Walsh quickly realized that the venture was a foreign affair intent on harvesting whales of illegal size and importing the resulting whale oil duty-free into the U.S. market. This behemoth floating "factory" killed with appalling efficiency in order to reap tremendous profits. Over 3,600 whales were butchered during the ship's ten-month cruise. Though he was later an eyewitness to the death and devastation of D-day, Walsh maintained to the end of his life that his experience aboard the Ulysses had been the most horrifying he had ever endured. His report on the voyage--made widely available to the public here for the first time--helped set the stage for current U.S. policy in opposition to open sea whaling. Composed in an elegant yet direct style, his account is both a straightforward description of commercial whaling in the twentieth century and a compelling argument against it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity Press of Florida
Number of pages328
ISBN (Print)0813034795, 9780813034799
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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