Basking shark – some photos from Norway

The basking shark was a common shark in Norwegian waters. Some fishing vessels specialized in the hunt for these sharks, and for many fishermen the basking shark fishery was an important part of the yearly income. I have written some articles about this fishery and that has given me access to a lot of spectacular photos. What you see on these photos is now history, and that makes these photos both rare and valuable. Below you will see a vessel hunting basking shark in The North Sea in the early 1970’s, and some of the photos has not been published before.

Basking shark

The fishing vessel is approaching the basking shark.

Basking sharks

Closing in on the shoal. We can clearly see that there are at least four basking sharks in the shoal. The tip of the harpoon gun can bee seen at the bottom of the photo.

Fireing the harpoon gun

The harpoon gun is fired. The harpoon goes straight through the shark.

Basking shark

The basking shark tries to dive. The vessel forces the shark to the surface. The power of the shark makes the vessel rock and shake (photo over and below). Sometimes the shark hit the vessel with its tail or head. The battle with large basking sharks could also cause damages to the boat.

Vessel hunting basking shark

Shooting a basing shark

Harpooned, but far from dead. The fishermen had to shoot the shark. A bullet in its head was the most efficient way.

A dead basking shark

The shark is dead and hauled towards the vessel. The fishermen then started to remove the fins and to open the shark. The valuable liver was then released and loaded into the vessel. If you want to know more about the former Norwegian hunt for basking shark, you may go to this page. All photos on this page is given by Lorentz Rolfsnes. The photos were taken on his vessel; “Vita”.

Update: A unique film is now available. Se a short film of the hunt for basking sharks.

Denne artikkelen har 20 comments så langt!

  1. Eivind says —


    Dette må være maaange år siden, slik det ser ut på bildene. Lurer på om de tok vare på “hele” haien og ikke bare finnene og leveren…..

    Fin blogg foresten. ;D

  2. admin says —

    Hello Eivind!
    The photos were taken in the early 1970s. The fishermen did not use the flesh. The basking shark can not be used for food. They only used fins and the liver. Tanks for nice words!

  3. Anonym says —


  4. HaHA says —

    They are cute, let them live !
    these bastards kill sharks to get more money..
    i would like to kill those people, who’s doing this..

  5. Kystbloggen says —

    Of course they killed the sharks to get more money. If you think they were doing this for fun you have misunderstood the article. This was one of many fisheries during a year. Basking sharks are now protected in Norwegian waters. They are not cute (?) but every living animal belonging to a endangered species must be protected. I think sheep are cuter, but I am not into ranking animals from how big they are or how cute they are. Every animal in the nature should be treated with the same respect.

  6. Asdf says —

    yea yea right they are cute why dont u give em your hand once and see how cute they are?

  7. Rihanna says —

    bad people
    kill shark
    shark can eat people

  8. Ys says —

    Sharks don’t eat people!
    There’ve been some shark-attack incidents yes, but most of those are provoked by people.
    Not every attack can be understand or explained, but people kill alot more of our own species every day..

    And Basking sharks haven’t hurt one person ever by the way.. Stop endangering these animals!

  9. Daisy says —

    Basking shark only eat plankton and are beautiful creatures that should be appreciated, respected and protected as all sharks should be.

  10. jojo says —

    wow thats one big shark … come to think of it its HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. inyasha says —

    those species are endangered!!!!!!THOSE BASTARDS!!!!!

  12. Kystbloggen says —

    I don’t think you have read the article inyasha. These sharks were common and not endangered by the time these photos were taken. This kind of hunt is no longer allowed in Norwegian waters.

  13. shark lover says —

    i think that that is fucking murder sharks have just as much rights as we do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Sowhat.. says —

    Thats not huge,

    THAT GIGANTIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  15. whyf*****bother says —


  16. whyf*****bother says —

    who the hell is sayen that those things aint cute?!??!?

  17. cassie says —

    ok this is freakin retarded have basking sharks ever really done any harm?! These stupid,mean, ppl just go and kill them 4 $money$ and these beautiful creatures are endangered now because of these !MURDERERS! Its just sick! And 4 any1 who thinks thats cool is just a bastard!

  18. Kystbloggen says —

    As I have said before: Yes they caught the sharks because of the money (income). Sharks and other fish has been killed for that reason for thousands of years. In some countries people even eat fish!!! Whether the shark has done any harm to anyone (or not) has nothing to do with the subject and it should not be a way of estimating the value of a species.

  19. Maxime Veilleux says —

    Basking sharks eat plankton you fucken retards! And yes, they are amazing animals! I would pay a million dollars to swim by a basking shark… sheep are fucken lame you dumbass! Why dont these people get a real job to make some real money and not feel like complete failures in life when they go home to their families.

  20. Maxime Veilleux says —

    Killing these sharks is illegal, but more and more are still getting killed each year.