Consequences

The extent to which whaling in North America and Basque whaling in general have affected the population of several species of whales is still unclear. It is, in part, due to the unclarity of what whales were the main targets for the whalers. Recent investigations point that it was the bowhead whale, in contrast to previous beliefs, rather than the North Atlantic right whale, that the Basque whalers hunted the most in the area of Labrador and New Foundland. It is also hard to know an exact number of whales that were killed during the peak periods of Basque presence in the area between the 16th and the 17th centuries. However, most experts agree that the direct and indirect consequences of whaling that the Basques started must have heavily negatively influenced the populations of whales in the Atlantic Ocean and the North American coast. 

The whaling industry that the Basques started became the first large-scale industry in North America. The will of a Basque whaler also became the first documented will of Canada. The industry attracted other European powers to approach the North American coast, an attraction that led to settlements and the fight for control of the American lands. The process of colonization was also what affected Basque whaling the most, as the control over the waters did not prevail and was overrun by the countries that took advantage of the Spanish unwillingness to take full control of the areas where the Basques fished. In this context, English and Dutch whalers, learned the skills from Basque whale hunters and stablished the settlements that continued to be influenced by this activity well into the 19th and 20th centuries. Places such as New England, and more specifically the island of Nantucket, were directly and indirectly influenced by the Basques and their expertise in the hunting of the whale.

The Basques became to be known as expert whale hunters in the international scope. Not only did they influence history by teaching and working for the English and the Dutch. They also worked for the Danish. Similarly, colonial Brazil sought help from Basque whalers in the 17th century and introducing industrial whaling to the area. However, this was short lived as whaling was declared a royal monopoly by 1610. In Iceland, the Basques were present at least as early as the 17th century, where they had established some whaling ports. Indeed, a law permitted Icelanders to kill Basques since 1615, a law that was recently repealed in 2015.