Skip to content

Young Norwegians Don’t Want To Go Whaling

May 16, 2013

Raymond Nilsen and his father, Eilert, butcher a minke whale aboard the Nordfangst—Norwegian for Northern Catch. Over a typical summer whaling season they catch 20 to 30 minkes. In winter they fish for cod. (Photograph by Marcus Bleasdale)

For once I am grateful for all the distractions of modern life, because they are diverting the next generation of Norwegian whalers from the industry:

It isn’t a scarcity of whales that is bringing down the curtain, or even the complicated politics of whaling. It’s something far more prosaic and inexorable: Norwegian kids, even those who grow up in the seafaring stronghold of Lofoten, simply don’t want to become whalers anymore. Nor do they want to brave storm-tossed winter seas to net fortunes in cod, as their forebears have done for centuries. Instead, they aspire to land safer, salaried jobs in distant cities or with the offshore oil industry, and they have been leaving their island communities in droves.

There is irony in this turn of events. For most of its history, Lofoten exerted a gravitational pull on the young and ambitious. In his 1921 coming-of-age classic The Last of the Vikings, Norwegian novelist Johan Bojer described the legendary island chain as “a land in the Arctic Ocean that all the boys along the coast dreamed of visiting some day, a land where exploits were performed, fortunes were made, and where fishermen sailed in a race with Death.”

Smart kids. Haunting photo gallery here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2013 8:36 am

    Excellence! Great News! Cheers!

  2. janneth florez rios permalink
    May 16, 2013 8:33 pm

    “Los animales son de Dios. La bestialidad es humana”Víctor Hugo

  3. May 24, 2013 8:14 am

    Reblogged this on newearth818.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: