Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Kids blogs
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...
The Last Whale

The Last Whale – your chance to win a copy of new book

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...

Why minke whale meat is far from traditional in Iceland

I was really sorry to see minke whale meat included in a recent list in the Icelandic press of ‘top delicacies that are favourites amongst locals’.  The author starts by exorting readers to “forget about the fermented shark used to shock tourists” but after listing lamb, local bread and freshly-caught fish, ends with a dish that is clearly controversial and to my mind, should shock tourists every bit as much as fermented shark: minke whale meat.

What the piece neglects to mention is that minke whales are harpooned primarily to cater for demand from tourists, who order it under the misapprehension that it is a popular local dish. In fact, eating whale meat is neither popular nor traditional in Iceland, and the vast majority of Icelanders don’t touch it.

Many visitors to Iceland take a whale watch trip and minke whales are a popular draw, with profits contributing greatly to the Icelandic economy (tourism is currently the country’s number one revenue).

By contrast, whaling is a cruel, unprofitable and wasteful industry (much of the whale’s carcass is discarded). It is bitterly ironic then, that whaling vessels frequently operate close to whale watch areas, meaning that a whale enjoyed by watchers one morning, may be targeted that afternoon by whalers hellbent on putting whale steaks onto tourist plates that evening.

If you are planning a trip to Iceland in coming months, please don’t eat whale meat or be tempted to sample other gimmicky products such as pickled blubber or so-called ‘whale beer’ (made with whale products including smoked fin whale testicles). Please see our new flyer for more information.

Please support our campaign to end whaling in Iceland!

 

 

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching