Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...

Not so clean cut: why WDC is right to bellyache about Norwegian whale meat!

Further to our recent story that a consignment of around 60 tons of Norwegian minke whale meat was given away to local needy people, comes the news that the company responsible, Myklebust Hvalprodukter (Myklebust Whale Products) – one of the country’s largest whale meat processors and exporters –  remains under special measures following concerns relating to hygiene deficiencies at their premises.

Inspections last year by Mattilsynet, the Norwegian Food Safety Authorities (FSA), revealed a number of hygiene violations which could threaten food safety standards. The FSA’s audit flagged up shortcomings in the maintenance of Myklebust’s premises and specifically raised red flags around separating ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ zones; ensuring the adequate sterilisation of knives, and ensuring that pests could not access the production facilities via outdoor areas. The FSA also demanded an improvement in the company’s labelling of its whale meat, along with developing a protocol for microbiological sampling of raw materials, finished products and other environmental samples, in accordance with relevant regulations. Whilst the company has now implemented some of the required improvements, other measures are still outstanding and the FSA has, therefore, extended the deadline for compliance to April 2017.

These revelations cast a rather different light on last month’s donation, which is now looking suspiciously like a matter of expediency – offloading whale meat onto an unsuspecting and vulnerable community – as well as a useful marketing exercise.  This is also by no means the first time that Norwegian whale meat has proved to be somewhat less than appetising:

In 2003, two toxicology studies revealed Norwegian minke whale products (muscle tissue) exceeded permitted mercury levels, prompting the FSA to advise pregnant and nursing women not to consume whale meat.

• In 2009, Japan’s Ministry of Health rejected imported Norwegian minke whale meat due to bacterial contamination

• In 2015, Norwegian whale meat was dumped by Japan after routine safety tests discovered that it contained up to twice the permitted level of three potentially dangerous pesticides: aldrin, dieldrin and chlordane. 

We recently produced a flyer asking visitors to Norway to avoid eating whale meat which is widely available in restaurants, fish markets and aboard cruise ships. We also urge tourists not to be tempted to purchase any products containing whale to take home with them, including products such as whale salami.  This product not only sounds revolting but is illegal to import it into the vast majority of countries, yet has increasingly been seized at both sea- and airports.

Please support our campaign to end whaling in Norway