Along the west coast of Greenland, narwhal's numbers went from 10,500 in 1986 to 1,500 in 2002. Catch rates in Greenland in the 1990's averaged 750 narwhals a year, many others being killed but not hooked and pulled to shore. In Canada, numbers went from 15,000 in 1984 to 5,000 in 2003. Today in Canada, the number killed each year is around 500, many more going unreported. Killing a narwhal is a badge of honer for a young hunter. Once, there was a 13-year old boy who shot narwhals all day with a rifle, wounding many but landing none.
A nice male tusk can be can be worth over $9,000, and $25,000 for a skull containing dual tusks. I think that if the narwhal had died naturally, a tusk would be pretty neat to have. If it was killed just for that, I wouldn't want one.
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|The head of a dead whale on the ice|
|Pulling a whale up onto the ice|