Look, don’t shoot, whale watchers say
Norwegian whalers gunned down a whale before the eyes of tourists out on a whale-watching expedition, reports the Aftenposten.
A boatload of tourists on a whale watching safari paid to go out to sea on a boat from Andenes in northern Norway.
But while the tourists were admiring one of the whales at sea, a Norwegian whaling boat approached and shot it.
“This really wasn’t what we came to see,” Leontien Dieleman of the Netherlands told local newspaper Andøyposten.
The tourists also saw another whaling boat hauling one of their own dead whales up on deck.
Geir Maan, skipper on board the whale-watching boat Reine, called the incident “unfortunate.”
He said he and his crews try to explain Norway’s controversial whale hunt to the tourists keen to see whales.
He said authorities have used “a lot of time and energy to get whale hunting accepted in Norway.” Shooting a whale in front of tourists was “like throwing oil on a fire that was about to die out.”
Jan Kristiansen, who represents the whalers, defended the shootings. He claimed the whalers were simply taking advantage of the nice weather, when the hunting is best.
“Many of the whaling boats had been tied up at the dock for several days, waiting for better weather,” he said. “When it finally came, we have to make the most of it.”