Dakhla (الداخلة) is a city in Western Sahara under Moroccan control. It is the capital of the Moroccan administrative region Oued Ed-Dahab-Lagouira. It has about 55,618 inhabitants and is built on a narrow peninsula of the Atlantic Coast about 550 km south of El Aaiún (Laayoune). The area was inhabited by Berbers since ancient times. Dakhla was expanded or possibly founded by Spanish settlers during the expansion of their Empire. The Spanish interest in the Western African coast was the result of fishing activities carried out from the nearby Canary Islands by Spanish fishers and the Barbary pirates menace. Spanish fishers were seal fur traders and hunters, fishers and whalers on the Sahara coast from Dakhla to Cabo Blanco from 1500 to present, extending by West coast of Africa to whaling humpback whales and whale calves, mostly in Cape Verde and Guinea gulf in Annobon, São Tomé and Príncipe islands just to 1940.