It should be up to the local people, is all I'm saying
An editorial in today's Globe and Mail offers a modest proposal, in the matter of Lofoten whaling:
A whale for a tale
Visitors who pause to admire, say, the reindeer in a facsimile of Santa's workshop might be distressed to hear a loud bang and, on reaching the exit, be invited to purchase venison sandwiches. Similarly, 80 tourists who sailed to Norway's Lofoten Islands this month on the trawler Reine, to see minke whales in their element, watched inhorror as a Norwegian whaling ship har-pooned a minke right before their eyes.
Ah, competing interests. In his recent book Waiting for the Macaws, Terry Glavin wrote that if Norway discontinued its commercial hunting of the minke, the culture of the Lofoten Island whalers would wither. "Eventually, the old stories would die." A modest proposal, then: The Norwegians end their hunt, the tourists pay good money to stop off on the islands and hear residents young and old retell stories of hunts gone by, and then the tourists board their trawler to see real, live whales cavorting in the ocean, as they should be.
Anyone who knows anything about minke whales would be forgiven for stifling a chuckle about that last line about tourists watching real, live whales cavorting in the ocean. Minke whales don't cavort, and whale-watching tourists who visit the Lofotens don't come to see minke whales. They come for the killer whales, which do cavort, and gambol, and the local minke whalers wouldn't have it any other way. I well remember Ulf Ellingson, manager of the tiny whale processing plant on the island of Skrova, talking about how beautiful killer whales are, and how it would be unspeakably savage to kill a killer whale.
Apart from the absence of necessary context, the Globe editorial is being perfectly reasonable about the matter of "conflicting interests." But do we really want to turn the locals into mere tourist attractions?
More apostacy on the subject, for background, here. More about pushing around the locals here, and here is a case where the locals would rather prefer a more tourist-based economy.