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With the release today of a new EIA Oceans Campaign report on the threat to human health in Japan from eating polluted whale, dolphin and porpoise meat (ht.ly/RD6re), here's a short film on the issue from our archives ...
#Japan #whales #dolphins #porpoises #mercury ... See MoreSee Less
1 hour ago ·
Seabirds 'blighted by plastic waste'
About 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic and are likely to retain some in their gut, a new analysis estimates.
The study concludes that matters will only get worse until action is taken to stem the flow of waste to the oceans.
Researcher Erik Van Sebille says the oceans are now filled with plastic and it is "virtually certain" that any dead seabird found in 2050 "will have a bit of plastic in its stomach".
Dr Van Sebille and his colleagues report their work in the journal PNAS.
On one level, the analysis is shocking, but on another, its findings seem depressingly familiar.
Numerous studies have now catalogued the rising mass of plastic debris being dumped, blown or simply washed out to sea; and it is having a deleterious impact on the marine environment.
To the foraging bird, a discarded plastic cigarette lighter or a shiny bottle top can look like a fish. If ingested, this litter may simply stay in the gut, unable to pass through, putting the animal's health at risk.
As more and more plastic waste finds its way into the oceans - about eight million tonnes a year in one recent estimate - so the hazards to wildlife increase.
Full story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34108017
#oceans #plastics #marinedebris #birds
Image: A dead Laysan albatross in Midway Atoll, its exposed stomach filled with debris it consumed around its coastal habitat (c) NOAA ONMS ... See MoreSee Less
1 hour ago ·
New analysis of toxic whale & dolphin meat shows Japan still gambling with human health
LONDON: As Japan’s annual coastal whale and dolphin hunting season began today with the aim of killing more than 15,000 marine mammals, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released new evidence that the Government of Japan continues to recklessly expose its citizens to heavily polluted whale and dolphin products.
The new EIA report 'Dangerous Diet' outlines the significant risks to human health posed by eating and the frequent mislabelling of cetacean (whale, dolphin and porpoise) products contaminated with excessive levels of mercury and other marine pollutants such as carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Independent EIA analysis in 2015 found all of the 20 products tested were above the Government’s recommended safe limit for mercury in marine food of 0.4 parts per million (ppm). One sample of long-finned pilot whale contained 19ppm total mercury – 47 times the safe limit. Of the 341 cetacean products tested by EIA between 2001-15, 56 per cent contained mercury levels in excess of recommended limits.
Clare Perry, Team Leader of EIA’s Oceans Campaign, said: ”Every government has a basic duty of care to its people, a duty the Government of Japan shamefully abdicates each time it permits a citizen to buy toxic whale and dolphin meat in ignorance of the serious health risks and, in many cases, of the species they are buying.
“EIA has documented mercury- and PCB-contaminated cetacean products in Japan for 15 years, always making our findings public, yet the Government has still to act meaningfully.
“Having suffered the world’s worst outbreak of mass mercury poisoning in Minamata in the 1950s and being one of the initial signatories to 2013’s Minamata Convention, it is incomprehensible that the Japanese Government continues to fail to protect its citizens from mercury in foodstuffs.”
Read today's EIA press release in full at eia-international.org/toxic-whale-dolphin-meat-shows-japan-still-gambling-with-human-health
#Japan #mercury #whales #dolphins #porpoises
Image: Dall's porpoises landed at Iwate, Japan (c) EIA ... See MoreSee Less
3 hours ago ·