Past & Present

Bun Abhainn Eadarra Whaling Station

Bun Abhainn Eadarra Whaling Station.jpg

(Photo: Jill Harden)

This whaling station is the only one in the whole of the British Isles where so much survives. Opened in 1904 by a Norwegian company, the site was chosen because it gives direct access to the North Atlantic out to the west. At the time this area of the ocean had not yet been exploited by whaling companies, unlike the seas further north.

Bun Abhainn Eadarra has the advantage of providing sheltered deep waters. It was an ideal location for a whaling station. So, between May and September the Harpunen Company ran three catcher vessels from here. They brought back around 30 whales a month, to be boiled down for oil of various qualities. Some was used in engineering, some for lighting and the best quality in cosmetics. By-products could be used as fertiliser and animal feed.

By Jill Harden

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