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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,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

‘Whale beer’ brewery boss gets the point

I was interviewed yesterday by international radio station, Monocle, [51.00-56.00] on the subject of ‘whale beer’, a topic which has triggered considerable media and public debate over the past 48 hours!  Interviewed alongside me was Dabjartur Arilíusson, owner of the Steðjar micro-brewery, which is collaborating with fin whalers, Hvalur, to produce a limited edition beer available only during the Icelandic mid-winter festival of Þorrablót (Thorrablot).

Dabjartur seemed taken aback by the huge international media and public interest in his product which he regarded simply  as a novelty drink to wash down the hearty foods traditionally consumed at Thorrablot. I commented that, given that there is only the equivalent of a pinch of whale meal per pint, it is more the principle of the matter – and the appalling arrogance of the whalers – to seek to reduce a beautiful, sentient and endangered whale to a mere ingredient on the side of a beer bottle.  

I had been expecting a robust defence of his position, but to his credit, Dabjartur readily agreed, saying that he both understood and accepted the concerns of both WDC and the wider public and realised that using even a small amount of whale by-products in his beer still constituted using whale. He admitted that the beer had been a ‘bold experiment’ but conceded that it was one that was unlikely to be repeated.

Time now surely to ‘call time’ on whale beer.

 

 

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching