Avoid the movie at all costs.
If you like them, also check out the nine book series The Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson. It's similarly filled with adventure, history, sailing, mining, intrigue, swashbuckling, mathematics, chemistry, science, economics, bloody swordfighting, and cartography. So you know... normal Neil Stephenson books.
Also, raise those royal topgallants, what is this, a whaling ship?!
Some more concrete numbers are here, not quite as profitable by the 1830s. Multiply by 29 for inflation.
Merchant marine and Navy had too many sailors and not a lot of free time. Resources and time were scarce.
Appropriately, Ashley had 5 (five!) uncles who were Whaler captains.
The Whaling-Quaker style of cursing is now very popular on the "Talk like a Pirate Day", especially here in Oregon
There is a daft meme that whales are cool and intelligent (lol etc) and so on. They are both cool and demonstrably intelligent and yet they insist on doing the same thing that they have done for millenia. There is no way that evolution can kick in for a race that lives for so long, for such a destructive force that was deployed so quickly (us).
Whales are very sensitive creatures, they know family... Why should we be allowed to end their lives and make them "products"? Even weirder: call that an art?