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Marine Life & Conservation

Icelandic brewery uses dead whales in its beer – latest news from WDC

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This news has been taken from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) website. www.us.whales.org

Introduced by our Conservation editor Jeff Goodman

When I was sent this news I thought it was perhaps a joke, but no. At a time when most of us are hoping the world will come to some semblance of common sense with regards the systematic destruction of our marine ecosystems, the Icelanders come up with this? Instead of looking at ways of reducing the killing of wildlife in our bright new technological word, they are actually looking at more ways to justify their insane cruelty to marine life via market commercialisation. What hope for the future?

WDC has expressed dismay and concern regarding the sale of a beer in Iceland that its brewers claim contains dead whales.

‘Whale beer’ is the brainchild of the Icelandic Steðjar brewery and fin whaling company, Hvalur, and claims to contain whale meal.  Its launch is timed to coincide with the Icelandic mid-winter festival of Þorrablót (Thorrablot) held in honour of the Norse god, Thor.

Brewery owner, Dabjartur Arilíusson, declared: “This is a unique beer, brewed in collaboration with Hvalur hf.  Whale beer will include, among other things, whale meal.”  The brewery also states that the beer is a healthy drink because whale meal is very protein rich, and has almost no fat in it.”

Last year, WDC helped expose the use of endangered fin whales in dog food, and the perverse use of fuel made from dead fin whales to power Hvalur’s own hunting vessels.

Sadly, WDC has become increasingly used to Hvalur’s desperate hunts for new outlets for his whale meat,” says WDC’s Icelandic whaling campaign lead, Vanessa Williams-Grey. “Demand for this meat is in decline with fewer and fewer people eating it. Even so, reducing a beautiful, sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get. The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what price the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?”

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Marine Life & Conservation

The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support

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With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.

The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.

Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.

The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.

While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”

There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.

This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.

Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.

Click here to sign the Big Shark Pledge

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Gear News

Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd

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This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.

For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.

Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.

“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”

Jim Standing fourth element co-founder

Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE

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