A few weeks ago, I’ve been on assignment in northern Norway. Together with a writing college, we flew from Amsterdam via Oslo and Bodø to Narvik.Narvik is a small town, which can be seen as the getaway to the islands of the Lofoten. From here we boarded an old Fishing boat, and started our trip towards the islands.
The next days, we basically cruised around to find the Orkas, unfortunately without any success…!
We later found out, that we were not just unlucky…. Until a few years ago, huge numbers of Orkas were visiting the sheltered waters around the islands regularly to feed on there main pray, the Herring. At this time the chance to meet them was almost hundred percent.
But in the last decade, the commercial fishing industry targeted the Herring heavily. Within a few years the population around the Lofoten was almost exterminated, and with the overfishing and the disappearance of the Herring, the Orcas also didn’t come back.
»They are still there«, explains our captain, »Somewhere far out on the ocean, they are looking for Herring.«
For our story, this fact was a little challenging. A reportage about whale watching without seeing any whale, doesn’t appear very authentic! So my college changed the story a little bit and wrote about the facts of the disappearance of the whales as well as the flair on the old fishing boat and the pure beauty of the Lofoten at wintertime. I provided the photos.
Around two weeks ago the story was published as the opening-story for the weekly travel section of the Volkskrant.