It is the fifth year the huge mammals have appeared in the region's fjords to gorge themselves on fish before beginning their migration to warmer waters.

Photographer Espen Bergersen captured the picture above and has been documenting the whales’ feeding frenzy in recent years. He believes a change in the wintering ground of spring spawning herring has caused the whales to appear near the Arctic city of Tromso. “This change happens from time to time, so we don’t know for how many years we will have this situation,” he says.

The humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) – which grow up to 17m in length – come as close as 10m to land to feed, says Mr Bergersen. The huge mammals hunt fish co-operatively using a “bubble net” strategy in which they dive down and exhale streams of bubbles to encircle and trap the fish in a ring of air. The whales then scoop up the fish with open mouths.

“Being out with the whales is a fantastic experience. Actually, you are in great danger of being addicted to whale watching once you have had your first encounter with these graceful animals,” Mr Bergersen tells BBC Earth.

“The sight of enormous humpback whales feeding on herring must be one of the coolest things you can see on this planet.”

You can see more of the annual humpback whale spectacle in Norway in Espen Bergersen's photo slideshow on Youtube.