Hunting in Norway is a subject that causes a lot of controversy among environmentalists. Recently, it has been found that Norway is responsible for killing millions of whales, much more than Iceland and Japan – we’ll discover below for what reasons. Hunting has been a bloody chapter in Norwegian history for many years now and there are several reasons for this.
Who are fur hunters?
They are called trapper, or fur hunters. This term is normally used to refer to the explorers/hunters of North America who, between 1750 and 1850, carried out their “profession” in the mountain ranges of the continent. They were given this name because they used traps to capture small fur animals such as raccoons, beavers and medium- or large-sized rodents, dressing in clothes made with various skins – primarily those of the fallow deer. Svalbard Islands offers adventure clothing, which is able to cope with even the harshest temperatures, giving maximum comfort while respecting the environment.
Armed with knives of various sizes, the trappers were also equipped with a long rifle, a musket-like firearm with a rather long barrel. One of the most famous trappers in history was undoubtedly David Crockett, the daring Far West adventurer, who was infamous due to his hat made of raccoon fur (and tail).
Whaling in Norway: a cruel slaughter
As mentioned above, whaling is considered to be a massacre for organisations aimed at safeguarding animals, such as Greenpeace. But why are whales being hunted in Norway much more than in Iceland and Japan?
In the olden days the reasons could be attributed to the meat of this cetacean, which was a cornerstone of the Norwegian culinary tradition, but it is now eaten less and less as a national dish. The reasons are not only due to a desire to preserve the ecosystem’s fauna, but also to protect people’s safety. In fact, it has been found that whale meat has a very high mercury content which, needless to say, is extremely harmful to human health. It seems that an amount of mercury has been detected in the liver of cetaceans equal to 370 micrograms per gram.
Whale blubber was also used as an excellent oil for lamps, candle wax and for the production of soap and cosmetics.
Why does the whaler still exist?
But why then, despite people eating less whale meat and using its blubber less frequently, do Norwegian whalers still exist? The reason stems from purely economic issues.
The existence of the whaler, a vessel specially built for capturing cetaceans – which is often equipped with explosive harpoons capable of causing deep injuries to these animals, killing them slowly – is subsidised by the fur market. In particular, whale meat is used for the production of feed for fur animals. This results in the exportation to the European Union of 250 tons of fox furs and 1,000 tons of mink furs, as well as the murder of millions of cetaceans. The majority of those murdered are pregnant females, which is an indication of the animal’s good state of health and therefore of the high quality of its meat.