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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...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
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...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...

Kill a whale to treat a pampered pooch? At least one Japanese pet food company has seen the light

I’m pleased to see that at least one Japanese company has decided to stop selling dog treats made from endangered fin whales. WDC, working with other NGOs (The Animal Welfare Institute, AWI); Environmental Investigation Agency, EIA and the Iruka & Kujira [Dolphin & Whale] Action Network, IKAN) exposed the fact that Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf was exporting fin whale meat to Japan where it was made into pet treats. Icelandic fin whale has been sold in Japan for human consumption since 2008, but its use in pet food suggests that new markets are being explored.

Within hours of our press release, one of the companies highlighted, Michinoku Farms, removed the products from sale. Michinoku had been offering the dried fin whale pet treats in various package sizes: 60 grams for  ¥609 (US$5.97/£3.89); 200g for ¥1680 (US$16.49/£10.74) and 500g for ¥3780 (US$37.13/£24.18). The product description identified the meat as being fin whale of Icelandic origin.

Takuma Konno, President of Michinoku Farms commented: “Maybe I was ignorant of the debate (about whaling), but it’s not worth selling the product if it risks disturbing some people”

WDC warmly applauds this decision; however, it may not be the grand, altruistic gesture on behalf of whale conservation that it might initially appear. As is the case with sales of whale meat for human consumption in Japan, it appears that the market for Icelandic whale meat pet treats is poor.  For example, in mid-April this year, the Dingo pet store in Tokyo dropped prices on the 200g package of the Icelandic whale pet snack from ¥1680 to ¥1470 (US$14.45/₤9.40) labelling the product as a “bargain article.” In addition, Rakuten, the massive Japanese e-commerce website which owns Play.com, was selling the Michinoku Farms Icelandic fin whale meat dog treats in 50g and 250g packages, again at discounted prices.

 

 

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching