Last of the Vikings

26 July 2012

Lodingen, Lofoten, Norway

The crew member takes dried whale meat down into the hold on the Jan Bjorn. The boat’s captain, Jan Kristiansen, is at the end of his career and will not be passing his skills on to anyone else in his family. 

 

The fishing community on the Lofoten islands of northwestern Norway is slowly diminishing, as their way of life is dying out. A traditional economy based on small-scale, sustainable whaling, and fishing from family-owned boats, is no longer viable. Whaling—which the islanders practice legally under an international dispensation, as an historically and culturally important industry—is a physically demanding and at times dangerous occupation. Costs are high and financial returns low, as there is no export demand for whale meat, and many Norwegians consider it Depression-era or eco-unfriendly food. Other fishing activity is being taken over by larger companies using trawlers, rather than small, family-owned boats. The younger generation is opting for safer, salaried work, away from the islands, often in the oil industry or tourism.

Location

Lodingen, Norway

Technical information

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Marcus Bleasdale
Nationality:
United Kingdom
About:
Marcus Bleasdale is a documentary photographer who uses his work to influence policy makers around the world. His work on human rights and conflict has been shown at the US Senate, The US House of Representatives, The United Nations and the Houses of Parliament in the UK. Marcus' work also appears in the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine, Stern, Le Monde, TIME Magazine, Newsweek and National Geographic.
Commissioner:
VII for National Geographic