Watch Six Enormous Whales Creep Up on These Norwegian Fishermen

Two men on the hunt for herring had some unexpected competition.
Nov 14, 2014·
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

We hardly need proof to know whales don’t belong in aquariums, but awe-inspiring clips like this are still a good reminder of why the majestic animals shouldn’t be held captive.

Svein Aasjord and Trond Ivarjord were on a recent herring fishing trip near Kvaløya (“Whale Island”), Norway, when six humpback whales emerged and surrounded their boat. So as not to alarm the whales, the men turned off the engine. They eventually swam away, but then came back—and this time the fishermen filmed the encounter.

“I felt very confident afterwards,” Svein told TV 2. “Whales have much more control than I had thought.”

Neither party was harmed (the massive mammals didn’t touch the boat). But other whales in the country haven’t been as lucky; getting captured for entertainment purposes is the least of their worries.

Like Japan and Iceland, Norway argues that whales are pests that compete with fisheries. This year, Norwegian whalers have killed 729 whales—the meat is sold for consumption—as of September. That’s up from 464 in 2012, and just about half of the annual quota the country has set for whalers.

The sort-of good news? Many Norwegians object to the practice so strongly that one whaling company has resorted to exporting the products abroad. And according to nonprofit Whales and Dolphins, sales of whale meat have been dropping each year.