in the Cape Province 1911-1950
In the early 1900s Norwegians were the world?s leading whalers. They achieved this supremacy because they were innovative and because they had the necessary experience, know-how and access to capital. The «father of modern whaling», Svend Foyn, from the county of Vestfold to the south of Oslo, was the great innovator. In the 1860s he invented the explosive harpoon. In addition, he used rapid whalers or catchers ? steam-driven vessels ? which made it possible to pursue the fast-moving blue whales and fin whales, and to hunt them and kill them in such numbers that whaling became far more profitable. This was the beginning of «modern whaling», and in northern waters Norwegians built up a whaling fleet which was to put them at the forefront of the whaling industry for many years.