Akutan Whaling Station, Akutan Harbor

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The Pacific Whaling Company built a processing station in 1912 across Akutan Harbor from Akutan village, on Akutan Island, one of the Fox Islands in the Eastern Aleutians, Alaska. It was the only whaling station in the Aleutians, and operated until 1939.

Between May and October in the years 1912, 1914-20, 1922-30 and 1934-39 two to seven vessels hunted whales within a radius of approximately 100 nautical miles (185 km) of the station on both the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean sides of the Aleutian Islands and in Unimak Pass. Catches consisted mainly of fin (at least 2498), humpback (1510), blue (835), sperm (482) whales, and right whales (9).

The station was leased to the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945. The upland area and selected intertidal and subtidal areas were contaminated with Bunker C fuel oil resulting from spills. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers conducted a cleanup of the site in 1998 and 1999, including the excavation of petroleum-contaminated soil, but deteriorated timber docks and pilings, abandoned steel, and commercial fishing equipment still remain. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Akutan Harbor.

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