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Author Topic: Let It Be Whale Vomit, Not Just Sea Junk
TallGeekyGirl
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quote:
MONTAUK, N.Y. (Dec. 18) — In this season of strange presents from relatives, Dorothy Ferreira got a doozy the other day from her 82-year-old sister in Waterloo, Iowa. It was ugly. It weighed four pounds. There was no receipt in the box.

Inside she found what looked like a gnarled, funky candle but could actually be a huge hunk of petrified whale vomit worth as much as $18,000.

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/let-it-be-whale-vomit-not-just-sea-junk/20061218125509990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

Posts: 980 | From: Virginia | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cervus
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Couldn't geneticists could extract a DNA sample from the thing in order to positively identify it? I think ambergris is only found in sprem whales, so CITES legislation would prevent the sale of it. I think with proper permits she might be able to sell it to a museum or research facility though.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I don't think the sale of historical or "found" ambergris is banned though is it? A perfumier (sp?) would be able to define its authenticity.

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snapdragonfly
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quote:
Originally posted by Hans Off:
I don't think the sale of historical or "found" ambergris is banned though is it? A perfumier (sp?) would be able to define its authenticity.

In the US, sale or purchase of ambergris is indeed illegal under the endangered species protection laws. A quick google search found a lot of information and from the photos I saw, that woman's hunk of whatever it is doesn't look like it's ambergris. Ambergris often looks like rocks and is smooth from the ocean like a smooth rock.


There's a simple test involving a hot needle to determine if it is ambergris. That lady needs to spend a few minutes on the internet!

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

Posts: 2397 | From: Texarkana, TX | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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Why would it be banned from sale? It's not as if you can harvest it from a whale by killing it, right? I thought it had to be exposed to the elements before it becomes something of value?
Posts: 1651 | From: Columbus, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The law actually isn't clear.
http://starbulletin.com/2006/02/03/news/oceanwatch.html
quote:
At a Brussels meeting in 2005, a CITES committee agreed that "in principle, urine, feces and ambergris were not covered by council regulation 338/97 (regarding animal trade) unless there was evidence of manipulation."

[...]

A wildlife watchdog agency called Cropwatch has had no success in getting a statement on U.S. law about ambergris from any regulatory agency, marine scientist or university. I had a similar experience: Wildlife law enforcement officials here didn't return my call.

According to the article, it is found in some whales but it's not known how often. The same column from the following week has more info:
http://starbulletin.com/2006/02/10/news/oceanwatch.html

Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
snapdragonfly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Well, now I don't remember which links I went to, of course, but the links that I went to did state that (even though it is obvious to me that collecting ambergris is hardly killing a whale) that it's illegal because ANY part of an animal is protected. One of those silly technicalities.

I didn't find that article, Ganz - apparently a lot of other sources are unaware of the results of that meeting, none of the sources I saw mentioned anything about it.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

Posts: 2397 | From: Texarkana, TX | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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