Skip to content
All news
  • All news
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Corporates
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching
Vaquita. Photo Thomas Jefferson

Scientific Committee gives first ever official species extinction warning

Photo: Thomas Jefferson We have welcomed the urgent call by experts to protect the vaquita...
blue whale

Whale fossil from Peru may have been heavier than blue whale

Scientists examining the bones of a 39 million-year-old ancient whale have concluded that it may...
Humpback whale © Christopher Swann

Humpback whales breach in synchronisation

Humpback whales are renowned for their incredible acrobatic displays, but a family in the USA...
Long-finned pilot whale

Unusual activity witnessed before pilot whale stranding

Just days after a pod of long-finned pilot whales stranded on an island in the...

Criminal complaint filed following Yahoo! Japan poisonous dolphin meat sales

Risso's dolphin by Christopher Swann

Our colleagues at Action for Dolphins (AFD) have filed a complaint against the internet service provider 'Yahoo! Japan' because the platform allows the sale of dolphin meat from the drive hunt in Taiji.

Criminal charges were filed against the online retailer 'Joreimaru Specialty Store', which sells the products.

A Japan-based investigator from Action for Dolphins was able to ordered offal from a Risso’s dolphin through Yahoo! Japan, and when the packages arrived they were sent to a laboratory in Japan where they were tested separately. The lab tests showed mercury levels in the meat nearly 100 times higher than the Japanese government's designated 'safe' limits. In addition, the products' packaging lacked appropriate labelling.

Action for Dolphins has now filed a complaint with the police in central Japan, claiming that the dolphin meat offered for sale through Yahoo! Japan poses a health risk to consumers who may consume it.

The complaint was filed against the online retailer 'Joreimaru Specialty Store' on behalf of the AFD by the law firm Takashi Takano in Tokyo, because the retailer sells meat from whales and dolphins caught in Taiji on the Pacific coast of Japan.

This year, during the hunt season, WDC worked with Action for Dolphins to draw public attention to the sale of contaminated dolphin meat through Yahoo! Japan, via social media platforms and in various local languages demanding that Yahoo! Japan stops selling the products. Yahoo! Japan, however, claims not to support the sale of dolphin meat from Taiji.

Hannah Tait, executive director at Action for Dolphins says: ‘There is a lack of information and labelling - anyone can buy the meat, including pregnant women, which is particularly worrying.’

'We are grateful for the important work our colleagues at Action for Dolphins have been doing for many years to end the sale of dolphin meat and thus the hunt in Taiji,' says Katrin Matthes, who coordinates WDC's work on Japan. "We hope that the complaint will lead to Yahoo! Japan stopping the sale of whale and dolphin meat, allowing us to further curb the spread of contaminated meat through online shops, supermarkets and restaurants. WDC will continue to support AFD's campaign.'

Yahoo! Japan is the only major online retailer in the country that continues to sell whale and dolphin products. Rakuten, Japan's largest online retailer, stopped selling whale and dolphin meat in 2014 after Japan was banned from scientific whaling in the Antarctic by the UN's highest court.

Make a donation to help end whale and dolphin hunting. 

 

Related News

Orca Lulu's body contained PCB levels 100x above the safe limit. Image: SMASS

Toxic tides, troubled whales: the toll of chemical pollution

In last week's blog, we examined the challenges whales and dolphins face as they travel the ocean, shedding light on the human-made hurdles they navigate....
Group of orcas at surface

Breaking barriers for whales and dolphins at the Convention of Migratory Species

Many species of whales, dolphins and porpoises undertake long journeys, encountering human-made obstacles along the way. Danger lurks in various forms from fishing nets to harpoons,...
Vaquita. Photo Thomas Jefferson

Scientific Committee gives first ever official species extinction warning

Photo: Thomas Jefferson We have welcomed the urgent call by experts to protect the vaquita porpoise following the first ever official warning of the imminent...
Tokyo

WDC in Japan – Part 1: Finding allies in Tokyo

At the end of May, I embarked on an incredible journey to Japan on behalf of Whale and Dolphin Conservation. My mission was clear: Find...