Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
Katie looking for dolphins

My magical island adventure – proof you don’t have to leave the UK to have amazing dolphin encounters

You don't have to travel outside of the UK to enjoy awesome wildlife encounters. Around...
Risso's dolphin: WDC/Nicola Hodgins

Remarkable Risso’s dolphins – how we’re studying them to protect them

And just like that, another season of field research studying remarkable Risso's dolphins came to...
Dead dolphins on the beach

Faroe Islands whale and dolphin slaughter – what have we done and what are we doing?

The massacre of 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður on the Faroe Islands on 12th...
© WDC

The horror – reflecting on the massacre of 1,428 dolphins on the Faroe Islands

Like you and millions of people around the globe, I felt horrified by the news...
Bottlenose dolphins in never-ending lockdown at Loro Parque, Tenerife

The whales and dolphins trapped in never-ending lockdown – hearing their stories

Every whale and dolphin in captivity is an individual with a life history and around...
Orcalab

Surviving not living. Why we have to end lockdown for captive whales and dolphins

I first visited OrcaLab in British Columbia over 30 years ago and vividly remember my...
Shorewatchers

Our volunteer citizen scientists are making waves in Scotland

I'm lucky enough to do a job that I love. For the last seven years...
The dolphins, including a newborn, got into trouble in Stornaway Harbour - WDC/Nicola Hodgins

Success for emergency rescue after dolphins got trapped in Scottish harbour

I'm stationed for a month on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. We've...

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

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching