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Common bottlenose dolphin wild and free © Tim Stenton

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Whale beer not fit for human consumption in Iceland

Icelandic media reported tonight that ‘whale beer’ has been banned – even before it hit the shelves – by the Public Health Authority of Vesturland, where the Steðjar brewery is located, as the whale meal used for the process fails food regulations. “The conclusion is that all ingredients used for human consumption should comply with…

Stranded sperm whale Edinburgh

A sperm whale stranded on my doorstep

When I stepped out of my van and saw the whale that had stranded early on Saturday on Edinburgh’s shore, just 10 minutes from my flat, it took me a minute to compose myself. Although led on his side, belly facing the beach, mostly submerged by the rising tide, there was no doubt this was…

‘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…

Dancing beluga show hides reality of capture and captivity

Yesterday’s Mail Online featured a series of, unfortunately, fairly stunning underwater photos from an aquarium in China of a beluga whale show involving circus style acrobatics between captive belugas and animal trainers. Such images published in such a widely read national newspaper only serve to encourage visitation to facilities around the world holding captive whales and…

Vat-ever next? Icelandic whaler’s new product is hardly a barrel of laughs

At a time of year when most of us are busy making resolutions to give up chocolate and alcohol, comes news of a brand new product designed to tempt Icelandic beer drinkers from New Year abstinence: whale beer. ‘Whale beer’ is the brainchild of the Steðjar brewery and fin whaling company, Hvalur hf. and claims…

grey_whale_escrichtius_robustus_12_feb-10-44636

Gray’s Anatomy

Scientists in Mexico’s Scammon’s Lagoon have discovered possibly the first ever case of Siamese twin gray whales. Although known to occur in other species, notably fin, sei and minke whales, never before have conjoined twins been documented for gray whales. Apparently the calves were severely underdeveloped  – only approximately 7ft long as opposed to the…