In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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What I learned about Norwegians

I figured khavi might be interested if no one else, but I learned some spiffy norwegian facts today thanks to slate's explainer.

How do modern-day whalers make their kills?

With explosive grenade harpoons. Commercial hunters in Norway (an IWC member country that openly flouts the IWC ban) catch minke whales from small fishing boats with harpoon cannons mounted on the bows. Each harpoon comes loaded with explosives that go off once they've penetrated about a foot into the flesh of the whale. The internal blast is supposed to cause enough brain damage to kill or knock out the whale within a few seconds.

If the whale survives the grenade harpoon, the gunner will usually pick up a high-powered rifle to finish the job. Norwegian harpooners have to take safety classes before they can head out on a hunt, and they must pass a proficiency exam to prove they know how to use their weapons.

Now that's sorta interesting. Certainly I had no clue that explosive harpoons even existed. It kinda makes me wonder if you could buy one for recreational use. There have to be instances where an explosive grenade harpoon would come in handy. Home invasion, repelling muggings, hippie protest marches, etc.

I also had no clue that norway was violating the ban against whale killing. I sorta assumed there would be international sanctions of some sort for that. After all, the pro-whaling countries only just manage to get a majority vote on the whaling ban. It makes you wonder why they would even bother if there were no penalties for just ignoring the whole thing. And lets face if, if Norway can flout the regulations, I'm pretty sure just about anyone else can and not get into trouble for it.
Tags: news, norwegians

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