As a young man, Ishmael voyaged on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learned that Ahab saught one specific whale, Moby Dick, a white sperm whale of tremendous size and ferocity.
Comparatively few whaleships know of Moby Dick, and fewer yet have encountered him. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. Ahab intends to take revenge.
Ishmael experienced the hunt of Moby Dick and the only one who survived the final events.
Serving Captain Nemo
He shared his doubts about Campion Bond.
By 2009, Ishmael's granddaughter (or possibly great-granddaughter) had become the first mate of Jack Dakkar, Janni Nemo's grandson.
Ishmael was the narrator of Herman Melville's Moby Dick (1851).