- Posted September 18, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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Toxic meat for sale in Taiji
A horrifying image of the butchered remains of a pilot whale killed in The Cove, Taiji, Japan on September 16. This animal was one of many in a large pod held captive and without food for several days, then cruelly stabbed to death. Approximately 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins were forced to witness the killing and to swim in the blood of their own family members.
CNN International interviewed Cove Guardian Melissa Sehgal on the ground in Taiji yesterday. Said Sehgal, "It is very gruesome, and it's brutal and it is utterly inhumane how these whales and dolphins are killed."
Despite a large and growing body of scientific evidence about the toxicological risk associated with consumption of meat from pilot whales and other marine mammals, the local markets in Taiji are now fully stocked with pilot whale and are selling the mercury-laden meat to the general public.
According to Ric O'Barry of Save Japan Dolphins, "Mercury is the second most toxic poison in the world, second only to plutonium." Mercury is reported to attack the brain and the nervous system, causing damage to eyesight, hearing and motor-skills. It interferes with memory and thought processes and can lead to dementia. Says O'Barry, "It further attacks fetuses in pregnant women, causing terrible life-long brain damage. Mercury kills."
Photo courtesy of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society