Story: Sealing

Seals at Luncheon Cove, Dusky Sound

Seals at Luncheon Cove, Dusky Sound

The first gang to seal in New Zealand was dropped off in Dusky Sound in 1792 and established their base here at Luncheon Cove on Anchor Island, about 5 kilometres from Captain James Cook’s base at Pickersgill Harbour. Seals are found today at Luncheon Cove.

While anchored at Dusky Sound in Fiordland in 1773, Cook made this diary entry:

‘Thursday 22nd. In the PM I went with a party a Seal hunting, the surf was so high that we could only land in one place where we killed Ten, these animals serve us for three purposes, the skins we use for our rigging, the fatt makes oyle for our lamps and the flesh we eat, their harslets [heart and liver] are equal to that of a hog and the flesh of some of them eats little inferior to beef steakes, nay I believe we should think it superior could we get the better of prejudice.’

The journals of Captain James Cook: the voyage of the Resolution and Adventure, 1772–1775, edited by J. C. Beaglehole. Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1961, p. 126

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Sealing - The rise and fall of sealing', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 July 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 12 Jun 2006