UPDATE: On October 31, 2012, in Taiji, Japan, 15 pilot whales were slaughtered and butchered, including a baby who apparently drowned in the fishing nets. Today 89-90 pilot whales find themselves exposed to the same fate, unless someone - including the media - can shed enough light to save them.
We have as little as seven hours to act to save 100-120 pilot whales and the people who will eat them. BBC - media coverage is needed to stop this atrocity.
The Fishermen's Union (FU) of Taiji, Japan, has once again herded a pod of 100-120 pilot whales into a "killing cove." As night passes in Taiji, the rest of the word could act to save them. But will the world, or even the villagers of Taiji, ever know? While most of the people of Japan are unaware of this slaughter, the mainstream media could act to save not only whales, but the people of Japan.
CNN reported a similar story in September, when the FU trapped 80-100 pilot whales, about half of whom were slaughtered and butchered and sold at market for human consumption, the rest of whom were released after multiple days of being held. This media coverage may or may not have impacted the decision to release half the pod. But the media should be on the ground, reporting this, so that whales and people are spared.
The horror - and don't be mistaken, this is a horror - impacts not only the pilot whales who will lose their lives. The local citizens of Taiji, and those anywhere that the flesh of the slaughtered whales is shipped and consumed, will unwittingly be exposed to potentially toxic levels of mercury.
Pilot whale and dolphin meat has been demonstrated to have mercury above safe health-based levels, but most Japanese citizens who purchase this whale and dolphin meat are unaware of the dangers. Mercury - in particular methylmercury, the form found in fish - is a neurotoxin with both immediate and chronic impacts. Children exposed to methylmercury in the womb show impairments to cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills. In previous outbreaks of mercury toxicity, some mothers with no symptoms of nervous system damage gave birth to infants with severe disabilities.
BBC - please shine a light on this atrocity right now, before the slaughter begins in as early as seven hours.
Photo courtesy of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society