Saturday, December 26, 2009


By Hardy Jones

Recently the capability of web networking enabled some opposed to the ghastly slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands to set this crime before the world. The tone of the communications that we at BlueVoice and so many others received was that this was the first revelation of these events. There was a desperate call to “do something.”
In fact, various environmental groups including and have worked for decades to stop the “grind” as it is called. And yet it continued. But in 2007 something occurred that did at least slow down the killing. Danish and Faroes health authorities warned that pilot whale meat contains dangerous levels of mercury that can lead to Parkinson’s disease and heart problems among other health problems. That warning collapsed the market for pilot whale meat and the hunts subsided for a period of nearly two years.
There is some indication that there is a vast quantity of pilot whale meat in storage already so there is no need to carry out further hunts. But in early 2009 at least one took place.
As Bill Rossiter of Cetacean Society International recently wrote, “We're all concerned with the best way to deal with these bloody hunts, but, in the past, whenever NGOs go public against the hunt, the grinds begin again. There had been no hunts for more than sixteen months but at the very end of January 2009, when the emails started to circulate and get media coverage (especially in the UK and India) the grinds began again.”
There is no way to know if there is a cause/effect going on here but Danish environmental groups, very much in touch with the situation in the Faroes, advise against further protest at this time.


A similar case involves a request that letters of protest be sent to Japan’s new Minister of Health who has expressed concern about mercury in food sold in Japan, which would certainly include highly tainted dolphin meat.
It is my observation that protests sent to Japan to end whaling and dolphin killing have not worked over the course of thirty or more years. In the late 1970s and 80s a massive effort was made to organize a boycott of Japanese goods. This had no discernable impact on Japan’s whaling policy and coincided with an exponential growth in the import of Japanese products to the United States.
Furthermore, if a Japanese minister were to contemplate changing regulations dealing with dolphin hunting, protests from foreigners (gaijin) would be counter-productive. No Japanese official could appear to be bowing to foreign pressure.
It is my belief, now that the major impact of The Cove may have run its course and dolphin hunting continues as usual, that food safety issues will destroy the market for dolphin meat in Japan as it has in the Faroes.
That is where BlueVoice is putting our energies.

1 comment:

googly said...

George living in Fernando de Noronha N. E Brasil~~ I believe every Pod of Dolphins has its Faith Healer you could say. Being more advanced than ourselves Ide love to see how they deal with all this polution there living with.