Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Cove

Do you remember the TV show "Flipper" beginning in 1964? Richard O'Barry was the dolphin trainer. Flipper, a trained dolphin, entertained audiences with water performances and spawned an industry of dolphin parks worldwide.

"The Cove" is a must see documentary film about the capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Migrating dolphins are herded into a cove where the best are selected for capture and sold to show parks around the world for up to $150,000 each.

The remaining trapped dolphins are killed, bled until the water is red, pulled into boats, taken to markets for butcher and then sold for human consumption. This happens to over 20,000 dolphins per year in Taiji.

The dolphin meat is high in concentrations of mercury; many large fish in the oceans have levels of mercury not recommended for human consumption. Pollutants from industrial smoke stacks around the world are the leading cause for this problem according to the Oceanic Preservation Society. The Cove was produced by OPS, directed by Louie Psihoyos and stars Ric O'Barry who is now trying to free all captured dolphins and stop the annual slaughter in Taiji.

Click here to read about the new documentary film on DVD.

Should you and I be more concerned about the mercury levels in food eaten by us? Should we be outraged by the slaughter of dolphins in Japan? A historical and documented case of problems associated with high mercury in the food chain can be seen in the 1950's community of Minamata, Japan. Read about it here.

Does your annual physical include a check for mercury level in your body? Mine doesn't either. I plan to request a check next time and become more concerned about mercury in my food.

Have a good week!


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