By Ric O’Barry
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project
I’m in Tokyo, checking on whale meat sold in the biggest fish market in the world, the Tsukiji Fish Market, with a digital Geiger counter to see about possible radiation, as well as other toxins (which would be determined through laboratory tests here in Japan) in whale and dolphin meat, that might be on sale for unsuspecting consumers.
But the media has already got the story: Associated Press yesterday broke the news that traces of radiation have been found in two minke whales of seventeen that have been killed in the north Pacific under the Japanese government’s bogus scientific whaling scheme. So far…
According to AP: “One of the minkes had a cesium reading of 31 becquerels per kilogram, and the other 24.3 becquerels, compared to the legal limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram for highly migratory marine products.”
An official from the notorious Japan Fisheries Agency assured AP that, “The levels are far below the limit, and the meat from the catch is safe for consumption.”
I would feel better if I believed anything that the Japan Fisheries Agency says. They are the agency that has ignored completely the high levels of mercury and other poisons in dolphin meat that Dolphin Project and other organizations have repeatedly documented. They are the agency that claims that whales and dolphins are eating all the fish. They are the agency that claims that dolphins in Taiji are humanely and instantly killed. They are the agency claiming their killing of endangered fin whales is both “scientific” and “sustainable.” These are all lies.
In the meantime, I’ll continue my efforts, along with our Save Japan Dolphins Team and our many Japanese friends, to get the truth out to the Japanese people. Dolphin and whale meat is toxic and should not be eaten by anybody. And dolphins and whales are worth more alive than dead.
So far, whale meat from the north is not available in Tsukiji or stores that feature whale meat. Is this because of the adverse publicity of irradiated whale meat? No matter how much the government explains that the meat is safe, I’m not sure the Japanese are buying. I can still get frozen whale meat from Antarctica (being introduced to shop keepers by my Japan host as a potential buyer from Norway!), but north Pacific minke whale meat is not to be had. Let’s hope Japanese consumers keep saying NO to whale and dolphin meat.