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Non-profit organization Action for Dolphins has launched a criminal complaint against the sale of contaminated dolphin and whale meat in Japan, according to an emailed release.

Recent sample tests from a Japanese laboratory showed that the mercury levels of dolphin and whale meats sold in Japan are 25 times higher than is allowed or considered safe.  Yet, the meat was still sold throughout 2020 and 2021 by Taiji Fishermen’s Co-Op.

dolphin swab

Courtesy of Action for Dolphins

Action for Dolphins CEO, Hannah Tait, said, “The sale of this toxic meat violates Japan’s own regulations. With the complaint we are submitting results from commonly eaten species such as Risso’s dolphin, melon-headed whale, and short-finned pilot whale.”

Mercury can have a terrible impact on human health if consumed in large quantities. It can result in neurological as well as cardiovascular health problems. Seafood that exceeds this regulatory limit of mercury is supposed to be reported to the public department in charge of fishing.

Tait said, “It is our hope that by launching this criminal complaint the matter will be taken up with urgency, and these products will be removed from supermarket shelves and restaurant menus.”

Anyone who has purchased whale or dolphin meat and has experienced health symptoms of mercury exposure. Should contact Action for Dolphins at 

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