Do Norwegians Hate Whales?
by Rauno Lauhakangas
This research study tries to explains the Norwegian whaling policy
based on the historical events
which occured early this century in Finnmark area in the Northern
Usually these events have been analysed by Norwegian historians based
on concepts of class fights.
But these events can be analysed also based on the extrapolation of
Freud's subconciousness theory
into a nation's subconciousness level.
Or we can also apply pure ecological cell models based on Darwins's
theory about "survival of fittest".
happened in the beginning of this century in Norway.
This incident, revolt, unrest or even a small revolution in Mehamn
can be used to analyse present whaling policy of Norway.
is the most northern point in a continent of Scandinavia in Norway.
In 1903 the economy was based on fishing by local peasant fishermen.
whaling started in Norway in late 1860's. Aboriginal Norwegians have
never whaled on purpose.
Norwegians collected and used dead carcasses of whales which were
The industrial whaling invaded Mehamn area in 1883,
when a whaling station was established in Mehamn by Sven Foyd with
his monopol whaling company.
Sven Foyd invented and patented his explosive granat-harpoon.
This explains his practical monopoly in whaling in Norway continent.
His rivals were Germans.
The sea in high North was very rich in fishes. Especially there were
a lot of candle fishes.
Whales and cods like to eat candle fishes. Whales had developed a
very interesting technique to catch fishes.
They were chasing candle fish pods and forced them to swim inside
So, here was a great opportunity for the fishermen to catch their
Just before 1900 and untill 1903/04 a great number of Greeland seals
invaded the coasts of Finnmark and Troms.
The fishing dropped dramatically, and we can speak about a case of
The occurrence of a Greeland seal happened at a same time when whales
and fishermen aroused against a whaling station and against government.
A bill, which consists of a full moratorium of whales, was presented
in a Parliament in spring 1903,
and the more fishermen were spoken to use power against industrial
The spring 1903 was the third and worst year in sequence of the fish-crops
failure among Mehamn fishermen.
Relationships between fishermen and whalers became strained in that
when whaling ships prevented fishermen from getting out of fjords
in windless days.
By Christmas 1903 it was clear that the majority of the Parliament
started to take up a position in a bill of whale protection.
And finally January the 10th 1904, the proposed bill got the majority.
The bill consisted a complete protection of whales in the coast of
Norway for the next 20 years.
The more than 30-years fight for the protection of whales led to the
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