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Whaling in the arctic regions began in the early 17th century following the discovery of Spitzbergen by the Dutch explorer William Barents. Before the German was dispatching whaling ships to the arctic sea, the British and Dutch were the dominant nations in the arctic whaling. German whaling in the arctic regions began by the Hamburg Ships of Johan Been in the year 1645 in a bay(Hamburg bay) of the west coast of Spitsbergen. In 1648 Christian Müller reported a whaling voyage of the ship ‘Schwarzer Adler(Black eagle)’ to Spitzbergen. He and Friedrich Martens, sailed to Spitzbergen in 1671, wrote of large number of bowhead whales they had seen in the waters of the Greenland. In 1669 already 37 Hamburg ships were on Greenland, especially in the waters of Svalbard. So began the German commercial whaling in the arctic seas and over the next two hundreds years whalers of Hamburg and Bremen had flourishing days. The whale population off the shore of Spitzbergen had been wiped out, forcing whalers to voyage into 'West Ice'(the pack ice off Greenland's east coast). And they had reached the Davis Strait. The sea around Greenland was a popular whaling ground for European and German whalers in the eighteenth century. Already in the year 1669 37 German whaling ships sailed off the coast of Greenland, 58 ships in 1678, and 43 ships in 1689. The Hamburg and Bremen sent more than 3,300 ships to the Greenland whaling between 1700 and 1789. About 7,900 right whales and bowhead whales they killed in those years brought them 357,270 quarteel(1 quateel=202kg) of blubber. Through the English Continental blockade during the Napoleonic wars, the German whaling was seriously damaged and could not recover. After 1815, German cities as Hamburg and Bremen began to equip their vessels. But their efforts remained sporadic and could no longer reach the pre-war level. In 1873 last German whale ship sailed to the Greenland. The technique used by the German and European fleets until the early 20th century was to hunt by having the ships dispatch small boats rowed by teams of men. A harpoon attached to a rope would be thrown into a whale, and when the whale was killed it would be towed to the ship and tied alongside. A grisly "cutting in" process would then begin in which the whale’s skin and blubber would be peeled off in long strips and boiled down to make whale oil. But around 1850 the Americans were becoming the world’s dominant whaling nation, and both they and the British were far ahead of other nations in technical development. In the USA and in England there was a greater demand for whale oil and sperm oil, for technical processes. Early harpoon guns were unsuccessful until Norwegian Svend Foyn invented a new, improved version in 1863. With this new harpoon system began the Era of the modern commercial whaling. Cannon-fired harpoons, strong cables, and steam winches were mounted on maneuverable, steam-powered catcher boats. They made possible the targeting of large and fast-swimming whale species that were taken to shore-based stations for processing. These highly efficient devices were too successful, for they reduced whale populations to the point where large-scale commercial whaling became unsustainable. Finally the dominant whaling nations as England and Norway sent their modern whaling fleets with whale catchers and floating factories to the antarctic seas just because there were no more whales in other oceans.