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Beluga Fishing Boats at Ahlstrandodden - Malbukta, Bellsund, Svalbard - 1

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There was a Beluga (white whale) fishery here in the 1930's, these boats remain from that period. Belugas form schools and in the summer months entered the fjord following schooling fish. When the whales were in the bay, seine nets were rowed out using these boats, with one end of the net being attached to the land. When the whales were in the net, the boats were rowed back to shore and the whales were either shot or lanced.

It must have been incredibly heavy work in an isolated part of the world. Only the skin and blubber of the whales was used, not the meat.


77° 33.3' N, 15° 00' E

Picture copyright Paul Ward

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