Gashamna, Hornsund, Whale Bones - 1

Svalbard / Spitsbergen pictures, travel in the Arctic

The remains of a bowhead whale skull. This is the rostrum, a projection that forwards from the equivalent of the whale's forehead and from which baleen plates hang on either side, like to sides of a triangle with the lower jaw being the base of the triangle.Note the holes along the bone which are where nerves and blood vessels would emerge.

A large open bay to the south of the Hornsund fjord, Gåshamna is the site of whaling activity from the 1600 to 1700's. In these times bowhead and right whales were the target species as they were slow swimming and relatively easy to catch, they yielded large quantities of oil and of whale bone (baleen). The faster swimming rorquals such as blue, fin and minke whales wouldn't be in the whalers sights for another two hundred years.

These remains are left behind by English whalers of this era.

Previous page     Next page
back to thumbnails