Rice topped with whale meat at a restaurant in Chiba, Japan. Picture: Getty Images

The International Whaling Commission has warned that eating whale meat is bad for your health.

A resolution introduced by Germany and adopted unanimously at the 64th annual IWC meeting in Panama City on Thursday said the meat is contaminated with harmful substances.

"What is important is that consumers in countries where they catch whales are informed of the risks," said Walter Duebner, the head of the German delegation to the IWC.

"Over their many years of life, whales accumulate large amounts of mercury or polychlorinated biphenyl in their bodies," said Sandra Altherr, a biologist at conservation group Pro Wildlife.

Both substances can cause nerve damage and other symptoms. A report by Pro Wildlife has shown links between the consumption of whale meat and such disorders.

The group and other whale and nature protection organisations welcomed the IWC's move.

"The resolution will help to reduce the demand for whale and dolphin meat - and both man and animal gain from that," Altherr said.

The West Australian

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