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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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at Itaparica, a part of the Arraial do Santissimo Sacramento, commonly called Vila de Itaparica.

Itaparica

This town, through the construction of its houses and the occupation of its inhabitants, gives the traveler an impression similar to that of the small villages on the shores of Iliria and Italy. There is no shortage of shops and warehouses, where we were happy to find "Porter" beer, "chester" cheese and the excellent Alentejo sausages and hams, which currently constitute Portuguese articles of import, of no small importance.

In the port, there are several factories of whale oil and large number of whale skulls and ribs, which fill the air with unbearable stench, proving that the efforts of Brazilian whalers still give good results in these coasts. From Caba de e Sao Roque to Rio de la Plata, whales (Balaena Mysticetus and B. Physalus, L.) appear in large numbers, and Brazilian whalers fish from June to


Balaena mysticetus

August, and refine whale oil in the factories and vessels of Bahia (where the refinements are in Barra, between the sea and the Chapel of Sao Bento), Itaparica, Rio de Janeiro, Bertioga (near Santos), Santa Catarina Island and Rio Grande do Sul. However, these fishermen do not sail the northern part of the coast Brazil, in large vessels, such as those of northern European whalers or some North American contractors, which sometimes appear here; However, they come from smaller boats, and sometimes they only go to the sea when they see the whale from land. Although this method of fishing for whales requires less expense, since whale oil is neither extracted nor embarked on the high seas, and dead whales are towed by cable to the shore and the oil is prepared there, there is no doubt that this branch industry, on a larger scale, and the use of adequate equipment, would yield considerable profits. The boats in which the whales are chased are small, usually equipped with a harpoon and the indispensable sailors, and often they are wrecked when they are thrown back or overturned by the injured whales before the crew can cut the rope and harpoon. We were told many cases of this kind. Also the whale oil refineries we visited in Itaparica are very small and without the proper facilities. The pots are only a few feet in diameter, and are heated by means of ovens like those of bread; For foaming and refining the oil, there are no proper appliances; The tanks, which store the purified oil until shipment, are not protected from dust and other impurities, and it seems that the whole process has been handed over to ignorant blacks and mulattos. With these imperfections, it is no wonder that Brazilian fish oil is far lower than the oil prepared in northern European refinements, not only for its

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