Hunting Manuals and Instruction Videos:

Use and maintenance of weapons and gears in whaling

Training and transfer of knowledge are essential elements in any successfull hunting operation. In 2010 the NAMMCO Expert Group meeting assessing whale killing data of large whales recommended to develop user’s manuals for hunting activities. The aim was to ensure efficient hunting and killing that would maximise the safety of the hunter and minimise animal suffering. The target groups are whalers, inspectors, wildlife officers, observers and others engaged in whaling.

Three different manuals published in 2015 cover the different hunting methods used by whalers in NAMMCO member countries.  In 2021 NAMMCO decided to further strengthen its efforts in this realm and is currently developing videos to visualise and supplement the manuals.

Large whale hunting – Target area and shooting angle

Fangst av vågehval og storhval med harpunkanon – Målområde og Skuddvinkel

Whale hunting using deck-mounted harpoon cannon and penthrite granade

Instruction Manuals

The three manuals are published in an English version and in the languages of the country where the hunt takes place. The manuals were developed with input from the hunters themselves.

In the Faroe Islands the manual is part of the teaching material in the mandatory course for pilot whale hunters. In Greenland, the Government have distributed more than 2 500 manuals to full time hunters. In Norway it is mandatory to have the manual readily available on board all active whaling vessels. In Iceland it is part of the teaching material when courses for whalers are taking place.



Manual on maintenance and use of weaponry and equipment deployed in hunting of baleen whales in NAMMCO member countries

Manual on pilot whaling

Manual on small whale hunting in Greenland


Whaling operations are complex and can be unpredictable; following these guidelines does not necessarily guarantee personal safety, a successful hunt, or operation in accordance with national rules and regulations (permits and/or letters of authorisation). All responsibility is upon the hunters to undertake safe activities under their best judgment. NAMMCO and the authors of this document are not liable for any actions taken as a result of these manuals. 

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