des 14 2009
For several decades fishermen caught basking shark by using a harpoon gun. This fishery was common along most of the Norwegian coast and each vessel could catch several sharks each day. The fishery was grounded on the demand for the high quality shark-liver oil (also used for high temperature engines) and the high priced shark-fins.
The season started in spring and the fishery was depended on calm sea. In the 18th century this was a dangerous fishery as the fishermen used hand harpoons and small boats on the open sea. Larger vessels and the harpoon gun (as seen on the film) made the fishery more efficient and safer. The harpoon was shot through the basking shark and the shark was then forced to the surface. In order to kill the shark the fishermen used a rifle and aimed for its head.
The Norwegian basking shark fishery has been history for a couple of decades and the basking shark is preserved in Norwegian waters.
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