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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.

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