Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Exposing Toxic Levels in Dolphin Meat Key to Ending Slaughters

By Hardy Jones

Taiji, Japan Nov. 5, 2007

I’m reporting today from Taiji, Japan, a village I first visited in 1980 when we were able to rescue some 200 false killer whales from butchery.

For nearly three decades I’ve fought to end the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. Filming these unspeakably cruel butcherings and distributing the footage to news media around the world has brought huge embarrassment to Japan. I have placed this footage in four documentaries which have been seen in excess of 100-million people and tens, if not hundreds of thousands of emails and faxes of protest have arrived on the desks of Japanese officials as a result.

Virtually all villages that hunted dolphins have quit doing it. Part of that is international pressure brought about by television and internet exposes of these dolphin atrocities.

Taiji still holds out as the die-hard village that insists that their culture depends upon hunting whales and dolphins.

But the whole equation has changed. The death of dolphin hunting here will come about because revelations of the high toxic levels in the dolphin meat are finally striking home. Levels of mercury and chemicals such as PCBs in samples of dolphin meat taken from local super markets vastly exceed safe levels. But the Japanese government is not enforcing their own laws (which makes you wonder how much we can trust food imports from Japan).

For Japanese content click

For interview in Japanese with Japanese mercury expert click

For more information on toxics click

But local supermarkets and some market chains have taken dolphin meat off the shelves. Dolphin meat provided by the dolphin killers to schools has now been refused. Overall the demand for whale and dolphin meat is dropping and so is the price.

Progress is slow but it is certain.

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