Sunday, August 19, 2012

The machinery of whaling

We arrived at Rosiru (Rose au Rue) on Merasheen Island after a 36.5 km paddle from Arnolds Cove.  What looked like a green field from afar turned out to be a field of stinger nettles with huge, rusting pieces of machinery of what used to be a whaling station.

Newfoundland has a long history connected to whaling.  The first whaling occurred at Red Bay in Labrador in the mid 1500s.

In 1904 whaling in Newfoundland produced 1,492,456 gallons of oil from a kill of 1,275 whales.

I found it troubling to walk around the machinery that rendered huge, majestic animals into barrels of oil.  I've had a number of close and personal encounters with whales in my kayak so I find whaling particularly disturbing.  I was with a group of kayakers in June 2009 when we had this very close encounter.   

Large scale whaling is something from the past.  Smaller whaling efforts continue today under the guise of "science".  It should also be consigned to the past.

If you would rather see whales from the seat of a kayak or other un-intrusive vessel and help put a stop to whaling, check out this site.

The whaling station at Rosiru ceased operations in 1945 and all that's left from that era were these rusting relics.  I, for one, am happy to see it in this state of decay.

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