Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Whaling is the hunting of whales primarily for meat and oil. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales. Industrial whaling emerged with organised fleets in the 17th century; competitive national whaling industries in the 18th and 19th centuries; and the introduction of factory ships along with the concept of whale harvesting in the first half of the 20th century. As technology increased and demand for the resources remained, catches far exceeded the sustainable limit for whale stocks. In the late 1930s, more than 50,000 whales were killed annually and by the middle of the century whale stocks were not being replenished. In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling so that stocks might recover. Learn more about whaling, its history, economic significance and environmental impact in this book.