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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have killed at least two fin whales, the first...
hvalur-8-whaling-vessel

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

A survey of Icelandic people has confirmed that the majority believe whaling damages Iceland's reputation. ...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Japan Begins Commercial Whaling Season

Sei whale © Christopher Swann Japanese whalers have left port to begin this year's annual...

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

University of Alaska Fairbanks Master's student, Dana Bloch, retrieves a CTD that is used to...

Community in Canada advised not to eat beluga whale meat after woman dies

A community in Quebec, Canada have been advised by local officials not to eat beluga whale meat after a woman died and her daughter was taken seriously ill in Inukjuak.

Dr. Francoise Bouchard, the director of public health for the region, said both cases have been diagnosed as botulism.

“It is probably from beluga meat,” said Dr Bouchard. Tests confirming the source have been carried out the local community has been told to keep clear of the frozen, dried or cooked meat. 

Botulism can cause severe vomiting, difficulty breathing and swallowing and overall weakness. It can also lead to complete paralysis and death.

High levels of pollutants like mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) from the world’s oceans also end up in sea mammals like whales and dolphins, and are eaten in the Faroe Islands, Greenland, parts of Siberia as well as Canada. 

Recently, Chief Physician at the Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health in the Faroes reiterated warnings to the country’s population not to eat whale meat due to the risks of developing Parkinson’s disease, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, and other medical issues caused by the contaminants in the meat and blubber.

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