So called by commercial whalers because they were the “right” prey. They moved slowly, close into shore, floated to the surface once killed and contained high yields of oil and very long baleen.
Between 1827 and 1930 Southern Right Whale products were manufactured overseas, mostly for the luxury market and included:
- lamp oil
- margarine and cooking oil
- candles, soaps, cosmetics and perfumes
- corsets and umbrellas (from the strong baleen)
- whale-meat for human consumption
- animal feed
- string for tennis racquets (using tendons)
There were 18 whaling stations in South Australia alone, Fowlers Bay occupied the closest station to the Head of Bight. Sites of past whaling stations are still visited by migrating whales today.