Whaling Station við Áir
The Áir whaling station is the only surviving of the seven total Faroese whaling stations that were established around 1900. The Áir whaling station was established in 1905, and it is the only station of Norwegian origin that is still standing on the northern hemisphere.
Unlike the grind, which has always been non-commercial, the whaling for Sperm whales, Fin whales, and Sei whales was commercial from the start, and the influence of this industry came as a power from the outside world.
Only three stations are still standing of the 214 whaling stations that were along the shores of all the world’s oceans. Most of them were Norwegian. One of the three is in Albany, Australia, the other is in South Georgia in the Antarctic Ocean, and the last one is við Áir.
In 1958 the whaling station við Áir stopped operating as a station that produced fish oil, dry fodder for export, and selling whale meat to ships and households in the Faroes. However, it still operated a little in the 1960’s, 1970’s and the final whale was processed at the plant in the early 1980’s.
The whaling stations contributed to industrializing the Faroe Islands. Whaling was, in other words, a particular matter of social importance up until around 1960.
National Heritage has since Spring 2010 worked at the station by cleaning it up and collecting tools and equipment from the whaling station to preserve for the future. The Áir whaling station will become an open-air museum in the future.
The Áir whaling station is of great historical and natural historical value, not only for Sundalagið where there were three whaling stations, but to the entire Faroe Islands.
The whaling stations in the Faroes were:
Whaling station in Gjánoyri, north of Streymin: 1894-1925
Whaling station in Norðdepil: 1898-1920
Whaling station in Funningsfjørður: 1901-1925
Whaling station in Lopra: 1901-1953
Whaling station in Selvíkum: 1902-1912
Whaling station in Signabøur: 1902-1912
Whaling station við Áir: 1905-1984