TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recent sample testing from a Japanese laboratory has revealed dolphin and whale meat sold throughout Japan exceeds the regulatory limit of mercury by up to 25 times.
AFD's CEO, Hannah Tait, says, "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.
These species had mercury concentrations 25, 12, and 2.5 times greater than the regulatory limit, respectively, and were sold throughout Japan via the Taiji Fisherman's Co-op at the end of 2020 and throughout 2021."
Assistant Professor at Coastal Carolina University, Dr Russell Fielding, conducts research on small cetaceans and mercury concentration.
Dr Fielding said in personal communication with AFD, “long-term exposure to Hg (mercury) has been tied to negative neurological, cardiovascular, developmental, immunological, and reproductive human health effects in humans.”
Dr Fielding’s research data includes measurements of mercury in Risso’s dolphin and short-finned pilot whales, in which he found the maximum level of mercury in the latter species' muscle tissue to be 186 times the World Health Organisation’s advisory level.
Japan's Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labour advise levels below 0.4 for total mercury and 0.3 for methylmercury per million parts is safe for human consumption.
Seafood that exceeds these regulatory levels is expected to be reported to the public department in charge of fishing.
Miss Tait says, "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."
AFD is urging anyone who has purchased whale or dolphin meat without knowing the mercury levels or has experienced the health effects of mercury exposure after prolonged consumption to contact us at email@example.com.