We hope to be able to contribute to a better practise of aquaculture in Chile and for conservation of the prestige and vulnerable marine ecosystem of Patagonia.
Here are pictures that show some of the impacts of the salmon farming for nature:
Already the day after the boat was put in the water for the season, we went out to see what the situation in the Vestfjord-area looked like, and already on the way out from the harbour of Henningsvær we found the water to be full of zooplankton, which is the main food for many fish and whales, so the dinner table was served and we had high excpectations on our first trip of the season.
A bit further out from Henningsvær the situation was the same; the water was almost boiling with large zooplankton including amazing amounts of copepods and different comb-jellies that all reflected the sunlight in the different colours of the rainbow. We immediately stopped and put out our hydrophone to listen for whales in the area and already at the first stop we heard faint whistles of pilot whales!
We were now actively looking for any signs of the whales, and with two marine biologists onboard we scanned the area with our binoculars, but the whales proved difficult to find, and the Vestfjord is big but we could still hear them, so we knew they had to be around somewhere. While we were searching, we encountered most of the sea-birds that can normally be seen in the area, including puffins, razorbills, arctic terns, sea-eagles, skuas and one of the true giants of the open ocean – the large and very characteristic gannet with a wing-span almost as large as the sea-eagles.
After getting out on deep water and systematically searching the fjord for some time using binoculars and our hydrophone, we encountered several groups of pilot whales! They were difficult to find in the beginning, but it was well worth the waiting! and we had an amazing encounter with several smaller family groups involving also some sightings of young calves that were swimming in close contact with their mothers. With the engine off, all we heard was the sounds of the whales breaking the water surface and the communication between the animals and the rustling of the faint wind. All together, it was an amazing experience of the wildlife in Vestfjorden that will last for a very long time!
Please visit this link to view a well made movie about whaling in Norway. Chris Fedor and Chris Hanson made “Chasing Giants” last year and came by to interview whalers, politicians, activists, guides, restaurant chefs (hhmmm) and .. myself…. enjoy! H.
We managed to renovate the center and it is now open! come and visit us upstairs of the old “Damperiet” next to Henningsvaer Bryggehotell, the entrance is at the waterfront.
we are there every day from 14-18 o clock and safaris will start on Tuesday.
I want to thank all the people that helped me: Einar, Bettina und Manfred, Peter, Rob and Gert-Jan, Helge, Frank and Odd Petter.