Thursday, 2 August 2007

The whales are fighting back

Let's, for the moment, ignore the dubious claims from Japan (I can't really narrow it down to a department or organisation within Japan, so I'm going to blame the entire country on this one) that killing 500 whales a year is "research". Let's also ignore the recent reports that the fact that they were killing a lot of pregnant whales was "a promising sign that numbers are improving". No, counting more whales is a promising sign that numbers are improving. Killing pregnant mothers is a sign that numbers were going to improve until you killed them.

I would like, instead, to draw your attention to the fact that whale meat fed to school children (which is researching what, exactly?) has high levels of mercury. Japan seems to have a real problem with mercury. Wasn't it Japan where babies were being born deformed because local manufacturing industries were dumping mercury into the waterways? This was decades ago, I mean.

Well, now whales are accumulating mercury, which may well be another "canary in the mine shaft" data point for all I know, and those whales are being killed, and cut up, and fed to school children who, being representatives of the current apex predator in the food chain, accumulate all those accumulating toxins and, presumably, are slowly suffering Central Nervous System damage which, all joking aside, I wouldn't really wish upon my worst enemy (I don't have enemies that bad).

And Japan is pushing for the resumption of commercial whaling, so that they can stop trying to convince people that they're not doing it anyway.

To make the moment even more surreal, down the bottom of that article there is an admission that whale meat in the past may have been contaminated with PCBs and heavy metals. Because it's good to be sure.

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