Today Norway is one of only three whaling nations in the world, but the country’s whaling operations used to be worldwide. Dag Ingemar Børresen of Sandefjord’s Whaling Museum (Hvalfangstmuseet) on Norway’s whaling history and the market for Minke meat.
“I guess…Norwegians are not very…. I mean it was just…. a whale. I don’t think Norwegians have this sort of emotional connection with the whales at all..”
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“It’s impossible to compare the Norwegian whaling industry as it was with the whaling today.” [4:50]
“Around 1930, there was about 10,000 Norwegian whalers going to the antarctic every year. They hunted down ten thousands of whales each catching season. The whaling today is just nearly nothing. It’s just a few fishermen catching minke whales. It’s just a few hundred minke whales a year. ” [5:50]
“If you talk to old whalers, you can get, they probably have some stories about killer whales, but it is often related to killer whales who were attacking dead whales who were caught by the whale catchers. [10:00]
“Up to the late 1920s [the Norwegian whaling industry] was global.” [15:45]
“I don’t know anyone today who eats whale meat.” [17:50]
“Why should we eat whale meat? There are so many other things to eat, I don’t know really.” [18:00]
“Is it a big deal? No, it’s not a big deal at all. No one cares at all. It’s just a few fishermen up north. If you ask Norwegians they’re not engaged in anything that you’re asking about, really. It’s only politics, isn’t it.” [18:15]
“We’re going to focus a lot on the blue whale and the story of the blue whale, how it was nearly extinct at the end of modern whaling. It was very close, you know, very close. So it’s a really horrible story.
“And of course also because they knew fifty years earlier that they had to stop whaling if it was going to be sustainable…if they wanted it to be sustainable. So they were quite clear about what they were doing, but they didn’t stop it.” [22:00]
“It was very short-term. They took what they could and then it ended.” [22:50]
About Keiko “I don’t know if anyone cared about it at all. I guess…Norwegians are not very…. I mean it was just…. a whale. I don’t think Norwegians have this sort of emotional connection with the whales at all.” [24:00]
On Twitter: @hvalfangstmuseet
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