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Peter Flood mom and calf

Emergency Petition Seeks to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

For Immediate Release, November 1, 2022 WASHINGTON-Conservation groups filed an emergency rulemaking petition with the...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Nearly 500 whales die in New Zealand

The number of pilot whales that have died following a mass stranding in New Zealand...

200 pilot whales killed in latest Faroese slaughter

More than 200 pilot whales have been slaughtered in Sandagerði (Torshavn) in the Faroe Islands....

Stranded whales killed for meat in Iceland

Pilot whale stranding in Iceland Around 40 pilot whales stranded recently near the town of Rif, on the western coast of Iceland, after reportedly being disorientated during bad weather. Up to 300 pilot whales may have been in the original pod that were seen close to shore and it appears that some then became trapped in a harbor.

Sadly, some of the whales trapped on the shoreline may have been still alive when local people rushed to the scene and killed some of them using potentially inhumane methods, such as small knives, without first waiting for the correct authorities to determine whether the whales could be helped and re-floated back into the water, or humanely put to sleep (euthanized).

[ Viewer beware: this video has graphic footage ].  

Official stranding protocols require that the chief veterinary officer must determine whether to rescue or humanely euthanize stranded whales (using a rifle).  Under Icelandic policy, the commercial sale whale meat is only permitted when processed in approved ways and when normal slaughterhouse guidelines are met.  However, interested individuals can take meat for personal consumption.

 This incident is in stark contrast to one in July 2012 near Keflavik, where divers, whale watching vessels and fishermen worked together to return over 100 pilot whales to safety after coming close to shore.

Pilot whale meat is known to be highly contaminated with heavy metals, such as mercury and other toxins, and these whales may have stranded due to disease (morbillivirus or brucella) which could also harm anyone who then eats the meat.

WDC is investigating further into this incident and it is understood that the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority is also currently looking into the response to this stranding event.  We hope to work with local authorities to prevent a similar ending for future stranding incidents and reinforce existing protocols that protect human and animal health and welfare.