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Once the missile had been shot into a whale's body, the buoyancy and drag from the drogue would eventually cause the whale to fatigue, allowing it to be approached and killed.
Several cultures around the world practiced whaling with drogues, including the Ainu, Inuit, other Native Americans, and the Basque people of the Bay of Biscay.
This jealousy stemmed as much from the mechanics of early whaling as from straightforward international animosities.Jewitt, an English blacksmith who spent three years as a captive of the Nuu-chah-nulth people from 1802-1805.Jewitt also mentions the importance of whale meat and oil to the diet.They met with twenty other whaleships (eleven-twelve Basque, five French, and three Dutch), as well as a London interloper, which were either ordered away or forced to pay a fine of some sort.The United Provinces, France, and Spain all protested against this treatment, but James I held fast to his claim of sovereignty over Spitsbergen.
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In the first years of the fishery England, France, the United Provinces and later Denmark-Norway shipped expert Basque whalemen for their expeditions.