Radiation Turns Up in Whale Meat
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.
- Happy 47th Birthday Dolphin Project! - April 18, 2017
- BREAKING: Taiji’s Drive Season Over - February 28, 2017
- 2016: What A Year It Was! - December 15, 2016
- Dolphin Sabbatical Project: A Social Experiment for Captive Dolphins - June 17, 2016
- Statement on Morgan by Ric O’Barry - June 9, 2016
- Op Ed: Is it Okay to Go Back to SeaWorld? - March 31, 2016
- Addressing the Confusion about Angel - March 26, 2016
- Exclusive: Message from Ric O’Barry - February 8, 2016
- What Will 2016 Hold For Dolphins? - December 15, 2015
- The Finland Four - November 28, 2015
Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.
In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.
From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.
Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.
O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.