mai 17 2012

Hunt for basking shark – film

Published by at 10:07 am under Fishing history,Sharks

In the 1970’s the basking shark was a common shark in The North Sea. Fishermen were hunting the big shark in spring and summer. For many Norwegian fishermen this hunt was an important part of the income.

The basking shark was not used for food but this large shark had a lot of valuable liver. The oil extracted from the liver was highly priced as it was used in high-temperature-engines. In the 1970’s the fishermen also cut off the fins which was sold to Asia and used in shark-fin soup.

This fishery (or hunt) has now been banned for a couple of decades. The price of the liver (and oil) has dropped due to synthetic alternatives.

During the 1980’s it was clear that the basking shark was not as numerous as in the past. Overfishing, a drop in prices and the moral aspect about this catch led to a stop in this hunt. In Norwegian waters it is not allowed to hunt for basking shark, Greenland shark or porbeagle.

It is easy to judge what former generations did for a living and the hunt for basking shark may look cruel to most of those who see the film. Still the hunt for basking shark was one of many fisheries and the film shows a piece of cultural history. Here is another film from this fishery.

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Hunt for basking shark – film”

  1. iulion 20 mai 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks, verry useful article.Sharks are hard to get!

  2. Grass Carpon 18 jun 2012 at 5:28 am

    Indeed, sharks are hard to get, they are just uber-strong !!

  3. Lu, Fly Fishing Chileon 15 sept 2012 at 4:31 am

    Excelent article. Great film. Amazing sharks.
    I need more info about it.

  4. alaska Kenai Fishingon 04 okt 2012 at 11:49 am

    Was a useful information,I have heard that liver oil of sharks are use for many purposes.Can you please provided more information about it.

  5. adminon 04 okt 2012 at 12:09 pm

    The shark-oil has some special qualities. It can handle high temperatures and therefore there was a marked for this oil for some engines. Nowadays we can produce oil for high tempeature engines in other ways.

  6. alaska Kenai Fishingon 04 okt 2012 at 12:37 pm

    thank you … for taking pain to reply me… was great…information..

  7. John HPon 19 okt 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Bit of a cowardly way to ‘fish’ if you ask me, although I understand the need for the shark oil at the time. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Borneo Angleron 31 okt 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Thats a lot of sharks in one area…must be a great site for sport fishing :)
    Feel free to visit and follow our blog at

  9. Fishing Blogon 03 des 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Lovely fishing blog, really good to read. Those shark look scary!!

  10. Ryan Collinson 07 jan 2013 at 1:30 am

    Wow that is something. I see huge basking sharks each summer off Cape Cod, MA.

    I’ll be sharing this on Facebook and Twitter, that is for sure! Very interesting, especially for folks in my area.



  11. josephon 17 jan 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Interesting blog, Just a quick question? I work with people with low vision and would like to know if there is any way they can engage in Shark fishing? any tips are welcome

    many thanks


  12. Nickon 05 feb 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Must be very impressive getting so close to sharks. I will come back to this blog. My experiences are mainly with the little fish that go in aquariums.

  13. Shane Wasikon 21 apr 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Interesting article and great to have the video as a historical record despite how horrific it is.

    We are the only company in Scotland who specialise in Basking Shark tour, where we look to get our customers amazing encounters with these sharks. They were hunted in Scotland up till as recently as 1994 but the populations and recovering and we still have sightings of up to 94 in one day.