Norway Warns Against Approaching ‘Spy’ Whale

Norway’s fisheries director, Frank Bakke-Jensen, issued a warning on Wednesday against approaching a ‘spy’ whale named Hvaldimir.

The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has warned the residents of Oslo to keep their distance from “Hvaldimir,” the white whale who appears to have chosen the fjord as his permanent home after traveling down the coast of Norway in 2019.

“We especially encourage people in boats to keep a good distance to avoid the whale being injured or, in the worst case, killed by boat traffic,” fisheries director Frank Bakke-Jensen said on Wednesday.

Norway considers beluga whales a protected species. Bakke-Jensen believes the whale “now resides in the inner Oslofjord,” a densely populated area that raises the risk of injury due to human contact. He said that Hvaldimir has suffered “minor injuries” from contact with boats before.

The whale first attracted attention in April 2019, when it appeared on the northern coast of Norway and kept approaching fishermen’s boats. The marine mammal had worn a camera harness labeled ‘Equipment St. Petersburg’, leading to speculation that it was a “Russian spy.”

The friendly whale was soon dubbed Hvaldimir, after the Norwegian word for whale and the play on the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two Japanese reproductive biologists, Katsuhiko Hayashi and Mitinori Saitou, are attempting to make egg cells without human ovaries.

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