Saturday, 25 July 2009


Qeqertarsuaq has a history of whaling. The first whalers arrived here in 1773. Last year the International Whaling Commission granted Greenland its first Bowhead Whale quota since 1937. They are allowed two Bowheads each year between 2008 and 2012.
In the spring Qeqertarsuaq whalers successfully landed a Bowhead. It was the 2nd of their alloted four for 2008-09. On National Day - June 21st, the meat was shared with everyone in the community and in many other towns in Greenland.

These days there are few people with the equipment to hunt such a large animal. Seemingly simple things such as turning the whale to get the meat from the entire whale become a big challenge. Bowheads are extremely large and can weigh more than 60 tons.
After the residents of Qeqertarsuaq got as much meat as they could, they decided to try to salvage the skeleton which would eventually be put on display in front of the museum.
The most efficient way of doing that is to let the sea and the denizens of the sea aid in the decomposition.

For the past few weeks the remains of that whale have been floating about 200 metres from where we drop our anchor beside the village. The whale is wrapped in nets and floats are attached to the nets.

Some of us took a trip out to the carcass in our Polar Cirkle boats. There is still one heck of a lot of whale to decompose.