For over 125 years, a porpoise fishery operated on Hatteras Island. After capturing and killing the animals, fishermen cut away the blubber and sent it to the porpoise factory to be processed for oils and hides. The oils were used in a variety of trades, including firearms, and watch and clock making. One kind of oil was used in lighthouse clocks used to control the lanterns. Once a highly lucrative venture, all porpoise operations in North Carolina ended in 1929 due to a downturn in profits.