IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


7th July, 2023 Environment

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • Recently a dead body of sperm whale was found on the shore of the Canary Island of La Palma.
  • During post-mortem ambergris of €500,000 value was found in its colon.


  • In French it means grey amber.
  • It is a waxy substance, also known as white gold, produced from the digestive system of sperm whales.
  • Known as whale vomit, it combines a strong marine odour with faecal odour.
  • The fresh ambergris appears a fatty and light yellowish substance. However over time it turns waxy and red brownish, grey & black in color.
  • In India, ambergris trade is banned.

Sperm Whale and Legal provision

  • It is a protected species in India under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Ambergris and its by product trade is illegal in India under provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • They are listed as vulnerable in IUCN red list.

Must Read Article:

More information on Ambergris and Sperm whale




Consider the following statements about sperm whale:

1. Ambergis, which is a by-product of digestive system of sperm whales, is valued and is expensive due to its use in perfume industry.

2. Sperm whale is a critically endangered species.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. Both 1 and 2

D. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (A)