A Call to the IWC to End the Yearly Hunt

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‘Hayden Panettiere, Dr. Roger Payne, and others call on the International Whaling Commission to End All Commercial and Scientific Whaling Citing Studies Showing That the People Who Eat Dolphin, Whale, and Porpoise Meat Are the Most Contaminated Humans on the Planet.’

MADEIRA, Portugal, June 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On the opening day of the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), conservationists including “Save the Whales Again!” Campaign spokesperson Hayden Panettiere and renowned whale researcher Dr. Roger Payne call on the IWC to end to all commercial and scientific research whaling by Japan, Norway, and Iceland while also calling on Japan and the Faroe Islands to stop killing dolphins, porpoise, and other small whales citing human health concerns based on new scientific findings.

Since the 1986 commercial whaling moratorium, over 25,000 great whales have been killed by Japan, Norway, and Iceland while over 400,000 dolphins, porpoises, and other small whales have been killed by fisherman in Japan and the Faroe Islands, all for human consumption.

A recent report by Blue Voice shows that whale meat tested in Japanese markets was loaded with mercury, PCBs, Dioxin, and other contaminants. “BlueVoice.org has conducted numerous tests on dolphins and small whales taken in the brutal Taiji drive hunts,” said Blue Voice executive director Hardy Jones. “We then went on to test people who eat dolphin meat and found levels as high as 89 parts-per-million – that’s over 200 times the level allowed in food per Japanese health laws.”

Similar studies have been done on Greenland Inuit natives who subsist on whale meat and blubber, showing that the Arctic has become one of the most contaminated places on Earth — a place now where Inuit mothers are warned not to breast-feed their babies because high levels of PCBs, dioxins, and other industrial chemicals. According to a 2003 report by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, a newborns’ umbilical cord blood and mothers’ breast milk average PCB and mercury levels are 20 to 50 times higher in remote villages of Greenland than in urban areas of the United States and Europe.

In November 2008, the Faroe Island’s Chief Medical Officers, PalWeihe and HogniDebesJoensen, announced that pilot whale meat and blubber contains too much mercury, PCBs and DDT derivatives to be safe for human consumption. Their findings revealed damage to fetal neural development, high blood pressure, and impaired immunity in children, as well as increased rates of Parkinson’s disease, circulatory problems and possibly infertility in adults.

In a written statement timed for the IWC meeting, actress Hayden Panettiere, a spokesperson for The Whaleman Foundation and its Save the Whales Again! Campaign said, “Having witnessed the brutal slaughter of pilot whales firsthand in Taiji Japan, I cannot understand how anyone in Japan, Norway, Iceland or the Faroe Islands could kill these harmless creatures knowing what they know, that these animals are loaded with mercury PCBs, and DDT and then sell their tainted meat for profit or feed it to their children.” Hayden is asking supporters to sign their official petition at www.socialvibe.com.

Dr. Roger Payne, founder of Ocean Alliance, who just completed his long term global study found high levels of contaminates in sperm whales including mercury and extraordinary high levels of Chromium (Cr), a compound that has been linked to cancer in humans as was portrayed in the land mark lawsuit and feature film “Erin Brockovich.” According to Dr. Payne’s report, “The global mean Cr level in whale skin was 28-times higher than mean Cr skin levels in humans without occupational exposure. The whale levels were more similar to levels only observed previously in human lung tissue from workers who died of Cr-induced lung cancer.”

“We have a severe problem here of a magnitude that we are now just beginning to comprehend but let me be clear,” said Dr. Payne, “most dolphins, sperm whales, and porpoises swimming

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around in our oceans today are swimming toxic dumpsites, their meat and blubber so highly contaminated that it exceeds levels considered safe for human consumption. Since fin and minke whales eat fish, they too are almost certainly highly contaminated, therefore there is no sane rational for anyone to

kill any of these animals for food.”

One of the main topics at this year’s IWC meeting is the future of the IWC and whether or not to continue discussions to reach a compromise or “package” as it being called that would once again legitimize commercial whaling.

“In the wake of all the scientific evidence and numerous government warnings about health risks associated with those who consume whale, dolphin, and porpoise meat, the only logical conclusion for the IWC is to end these so-called compromise discussions and to once and for all end the needless and archaic commercial slaughter of dolphins, whales, and porpoises worldwide,” said Jeff Pantukhoff, executive director of the Save the Whales Again! Campaign and founder of The Whaleman Foundation.

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