Iceland kills endangered Fin whales for Japanese dog food

This video says about itself:

Dec 30, 2012

On Sunday whale watching passengers got the show of a lifetime when a fin whale nicknamed Farley “mugged” (circled very closely) our catamaran repeatedly and left behind a heart-shaped footprint!

Fin whales are the second largest baleen whale and are seen throughout the year off the coast of Orange County, California. In a very unusual display of affectionate behavior Farley the fin whale came almost within arm’s reach of whale watchers and allowed us the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see it underwater from our Eye to Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. During the “mugging” our boat remained stationary and in neutral so we did not disturb the animal.

From Wildlife Extra:

Fin whales being turned into dog treats

Iceland is killing endangered Fin whales for Japanese pet treats

May 2013. Although the use of Japanese-caught whale and dolphin meat in pet food in Japan has been well documented, the discovery that Japanese pet food company Michinoku Farms is now producing dog snacks using meat from endangered North Atlantic Fin whales, killed by the Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf, is alarming.

Icelandic Fin whale has been sold in Japan for human consumption since 2008, but its use in pet food suggests that new markets are being explored. As Iceland prepares to hunt more than 180 Fin whales in 2013 for this export market, NGOs question the environmental and economic logic of using meat from an endangered species for the manufacture of dog treats.


Susan Millward, executive director of the US-based Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), said: “Turning an endangered whale species into pet snacks is deplorable and seems to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to keep a cruel and unnecessary industry alive at any cost.”

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) and the Iruka & Kujira [Dolphin & Whale] Action Network (IKAN) expressed dismay at the sale of Icelandic Fin whale meat dog treats in Japan.

Clare Perry, EIA senior campaigner, said: “It is grotesque that this Icelandic company is flouting two international conventions in order to feed endangered Fin whales to pampered pets in Japan. In the face of such blatant disregard for species conservation and international agreements, internet retailers such as Rakuten need to take more responsibility for the sustainability and acceptability of the products they market, and should follow the example of Amazon and Google, which have banned the sale of all whale products in Japan.”

‘Turning beautiful and endangered Fin whales into pet treats is utterly repugnant’

Chris Butler-Stroud, chief executive of WDC, said: “Sadly, this discovery does not surprise us. Turning beautiful and endangered Fin whales into pet treats is utterly repugnant to right-minded people, yet this sort of callous disregard for an intelligent species is no more than we have come to expect from Kristján Loftsson, a man prepared to turn whales into pretty much anything as long as it turns a profit.”

Nanami Kurasawa, executive director of the Japanese conservation group IKAN, said: “While IKAN’s research shows that Icelandic whale products now make up some 20 per cent of sales to the Japanese public, we were very surprised and alarmed to find that Icelandic Fin whale meat is also being used to make dog treats. The reason that Hvalur hf now has such a large share of the market is because of its cheap price. What the Japanese public must ask ourselves is ‘just because it’s cheap, do our morals allow turning endangered species, which don’t belong to Japan, into dog treats and selling them online?’ I, for one, think this is a disgrace.”

Michinoku Farms is based in Iwate Prefecture. In addition to traditional pet food products, the company offers a wide variety of “exotic” pet foods, everything from Australian kangaroo meat to Mongolian horse meat.

Dog food jerky “treats” made from dried Icelandic Fin whale meat were recently discovered for sale on its website.

Kurasawa added: “The most likely reason for shops to sell the whale meat dog treat is to target affluent Japanese who want to show off their wealth with something different. Similarly, there are also pet foods with shark fins and foie gras available in Japan. Buying such pet food is purely human-centric and hardly considers the animals’ point of view.”

June 2013. The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has announced that, according to an Icelandic media report, the Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf has killed an endangered Fin whale in defiance of the international ban on commercial whaling. The whale was killed some 150 nautical miles off Iceland’s west coast, and is expected to be landed at the company’s whaling station in Hvalfjörður, less than an hour’s drive north of Reykjavik: here.

Why whales can hold their breath for a long time — and you can’t: here.

48 thoughts on “Iceland kills endangered Fin whales for Japanese dog food

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  5. Saving Fin Whales from Butchery

    Delivering our call to save the fin whalesDelivering our call to save the fin whales to the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs

    When an Icelandic tycoon launched his brutal summer hunt to turn endangered fin whales into dog food, Avaaz launched a campaign to stop him shipping the bloody carcasses to Japan. Over 1.1 million of us convinced Dutch politicians to commit to closing Dutch ports. Then we showed up again in Germany when he tried to reroute his shipments through Hamburg. The German Environment Ministry responded to Avaazers’ messages right away on Twitter and — working closely with Greenpeace, together we created the pressure that got the whale meat put right back on a ship to Iceland! The German government has now asked the port to refuse all future whale meat shipments, 200,000 Avaaz members in Germany are now asking the nation’s biggest supermarket to stop selling products linked to the whaling company and we’re chasing down the whaler’s other routes to profit until he realises he has to stop killing fin whales.


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