The last Spitsbergen factory has been abandoned. Since whaling began in the bays of the Spitsbergen Islands, whale carcasses have been processed ashore and the whale product packed for loading to ships returning to their home ports. The Muscovy Company considered this to be the most profitable use of men and ships, with each ship returning fully laden at the earliest time.
The increasing popularity of deep sea whaling has meant that whaleships make their final catches some distance from Spitsbergen and find it more convenient to return home for the final processing of whale product. During the last twenty years the Spitsbergen factories have struggled to survive and the last factory was abandoned this year.