Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Horror and Hope in Peru

BlueVoice has just completed a trip to the northern coast of Peru. We hope you will read the entirety of this blog. It contains information that is deeply disturbing but also offers solutions that are attainable and will provide huge benefits for both dolphins and the indigenous people of the region. BlueVoice, working with the Peruvian NGO ORCA, went to San Jose, a fishing village north of Lima, to document the killing of dolphins for food and to gather information on levels of diabetes that could be linked to consumption of dolphin meat.
We expected the correlation of eating dolphin meat with diabetes incidence to be a complicated epidemiological task. It was not, simply because everyone in the town eats it. One woman, whose father had just died of diabetes, told us “this town is entirely sustained on dolphin meat.” Obviously the take of dolphins is far higher than we’d anticipated but what emerged from our work in San Jose is enormously hopeful. The townspeople are terrified of the epidemic of diabetes that has emerged.
The mayor invited Dr. Carlos Yaipen of ORCA/Peru and BlueVoice executive director Hardy Jones to address a town meeting that included the municipality, coast guard, health department and leaders of the fishing cooperative.
At the end of the meeting, at which Hardy held forth in Spanish for 20 minutes and Carlos spoke for two hours, we signed an official agreement with the town in which the mayor agrees to make all possible efforts to end dolphin killing for the health of the populace and the benefit of the oceans. We have been invited to produce information sheets and conduct presentations to the town. Many of the fishermen have smart phones so we are devising plans to use this technology to reach them. We collected hair samples from ten members of the community and will test them for mercury, and by analogy for organic pollutants. We are now surveying fishing villages along the entire coastline of Peru to determine how widespread is the slaughter of dolphins. We believe the desperate plight of the dolphins and people in the area of San Jose present a problem that demands redress. It also presents an opportunity to create a model that will apply to fishing areas worldwide where dolphins are killed as bushmeat. The clear connection between consuming dolphin meat and incidence of diabetes is a tool we can use to drive down demand for dolphin meat in places such as Taiji. Please support this work with a contribution to BlueVoice. We have never encountered an environmental situation more susceptible to change nor any that is more instructive and applicable worldwide.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baby Orca Born to Young Mothers From Jeff Friedman, BlueVoice board member This summer there have been 2 orcas born to first time mothers, and both mothers are 11 years old which is definitely on the young side for a first calf. I believe the average age for a first calf is 14-15. They are from different communities – one from the Southern Residents, one from the Northern. A thought I had today – we’ve put a lot of hormones and other chemicals in our food chain that are causing people to sexually mature younger. Wonder if this is an early indicator of this stuff working its way through the oceans, into salmon, into orcas. Something to watch over time, perhaps. Ironically, these 2 calves may have a better chance of survival as first borns with fewer years of built up toxins being offloaded. The births are: 11 year old Southern Resident J37 gave birth to J49 on 8/6/12. 11 year old Northern Resident A75 gave birth earlier this summer to her first calf. Great blog post from Center for Whale Research on the birth and reports of a baby welcoming bonding ritual:

Friday, June 1, 2012

BlueVoice has learned from a highly reliable source that in 2008 there was a mass mortality event (MME) of melon-headed whales (a species of dolphin) on the coast of Madagascar. This source tells me there is suspicion that the cause of the MME was seismic testing that was being conducted in the area. The government of Madagascar has refused access to scientists who wish to investigate. The fact that my source so far wishes to remain anonymous is not a surprise. Scientists do not like even educated speculation. They want all the data and then peer review before attaching their names. It is my responsibility to maintain his/her confidence so as to continue to be able gather information. The importance of this information is that it lends credence to the possibility that seismic exploration, which involves creation of very loud sounds underwater, can be plausibly linked to the mass mortality event in Peru. Much evidence points to the cause of the MME being acoustical trauma leading to rapid ascent and decompression syndrome. No alternative hypothesis has been offered except by the Peruvian government which has attributed the deaths of at least 900 dolphins to "natural causes", a patently absurd assertion. BlueVoice is funding the return of the ORCA team, led by Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos, to the coast of northern Peru for further investigation into the hunting of dolphins for food and consequent health problems for those who consume dolphin meat.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Latest Report on Dolphin Mortality in Peru

by Hardy Jones and Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos Photo is Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos with Ecological Police Officer (c) ORCA. I've just received the latest report from Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos of ORCA Peru on the Mass Mortality Event MME along the coast of northern Peru. In his last report to BlueVoice he stated acoustical trauma to be the cause of the MME. He does not identify the cause of this trauma. I should note that some experts on MMEs are skeptical of the diagnosis of acoustical trauma because of the extensive area and length of time over which the MME took place. See Here are the important elements from Dr. Yaipen Llanos' report. Note in paragraph three the reference to hunting dolphins for food.
By April 13th, ORCA found 53 “new” carcasses of long beaked common dolphins and 6 “new” carcasses of Burmeister’s porpoises that we didn’t count in the previous expedition. We identified “new carcasses” because of their position next to the ocean, the fresh condition of the skin and blubber, and the freshness of the internal organs. Unfortunately for our diagnosis purposes, 90% of them were moderately decomposed due to the action of ocean upon the bodies. These characteristic is also associated to the fact that all dolphins died off-shore. The field difficulties and the body condition of the stranded dolphins made our work difficult, especially when looking for viable-fresh samples. However, we managed to collect samples from 14 dolphins and 1 porpoise, a total of 55 tissues for analysis including periotic bones, mandibular blubber, and internal organs. Brain was successfully collected from a recently stranded newborn porpoise. Blood from two specimens were only viable on site for serology analysis, but blood did not make it back to our home base in Lima due to the condition of the carcasses, and the difficulties to return. As part of the research, we decided to do “control surveys”, on April 14th and April 24th to assess dolphin presence in the beaches of San Jose fishermen town and surroundings (10 Km). We found the carcasses of seven dolphins with evidence of “harvesting”, meaning that they caught off-shore to be slaughtered for human consumption. Despite these dolphin carcasses were fresh, it was a fishermen we paid as guide named “Jose Luis” that took us to the “burial sites”. We found juveniles and adults. These dolphins were stabbed by fishermen in boats and the meat collected for consumption. We checked on the “harvested” dolphin carcasses for samples, however, we found no tissues (all were consumed) but we found intact periotic bones, (with no fractures), so it was a good “control” sample to compare with previously collected (and fractured) ones.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Necropsy Photos of Dolphins in Peru

by Hardy Jones I have received three photos from Dr. Yaipen Llanos from necropsies of dolphins stranded in Peru along with his comments. - - - - - -
In the bladder, you can see how a huge bubble is compressing a vein and an artery in the dolphin.
In the liver of a dolphin, the bubbles are dramatically replacing the normal tissue.
In the mandibular blubbler, you can see bubbles spreading in the normal tissue, plus blood vessels are congested and hemorraghic, this last photograph is from a baby porpoise. I expect a fuller report from Dr. Yaipen Llanos shortly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Latest Report from Carlos on Dolphin Die-off

This is a synopsis of the most recent email report I’ve received from Carlos. BlueVoice has funded his return to Chiclayo to begin a new recon of the area he and I covered two weeks ago.

On Saturday, the President of the Congress told all media that the Ministers of Production, Environment and Energy should present an explanation to the Congress plenary session regarding the dead dolphins in the north.

On Sunday, the Minister of Production (including fisheries) called me from his assistant’s cellphone. He wanted me in a personal meeting Monday morning
9am to talk on "environmental affairs".

Carlos and Elena gave him a summary of what they knew. He was very concerned. Carlos: “I just told him
we had evidence of the acoustic impact and we are researching possible diseases associated with the strandings, since we never recorded anything like this over the past decade. He asked bout the importance
of marine mammals, and why the dolphins are so important. We explained. He was impressed, and worried. He concurred with us that dolphins are to people psychologically the closest animal.

So, in summary, we requested three things and he agreed:
1. To support and to participate in education campaigns for dolphins and ocean health.
2. To enhance the participation of Peru against whaling.
3. To declare marine mammals,specially dolphins, of National Importance.

So, at the end of the meeting, he agreed that he would like to have a copy of our final report on the dolphin strandings

Friday, April 6, 2012

Detailed Report From Peru Dolphin Mortality Event

Here are some results from Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos's tests on dolphins washed up on Peruvian beaches. These tests were undertaken by ORCA - Peru and funded by BlueVoice. Additional results will be published here shortly.

As previously reported, two species have been affected: Long beaked
common dolphin (Delphinus capensis) and Burmeister’s porpoise (Phocoena
spinipinnis). We counted 615 common dolphins. All age classes were
affected: Adult males, females, lactating females, juveniles, calves and
newborns. We counted 19 porpoises, only females and calves.

There are carcasses in different degrees of decomposition and every 10
to 30 meters, none of them older than 5 weeks. This matches with the fact
that these strandings happened right after our previous survey. We found
animals recently dead (no more than 12 hours) and several carcasses of
juveniles and calves showed “rigor mortis” as being dead on land, then
stranded alive (stiff arc position, beak open, belly down, transversal to
tide line, no more than 3 days dead).

Necropsies were performed on site. Macroscopic findings include:
hemorrhagic lesions in the middle including the acoustic chamber,
fractures in the periotic bones, bubbles in blood filling liver and
kidneys (animals were diving, so the main organs were congested), lesions
in the lungs compatible with pulmonary emphysema, sponge-like liver. So
far we have 12 periotic samples from different animals, all with different
degree of fractures and 80% of them with fracture in the right periotic
bones, compatible with acoustic impact and decompression syndrome.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Horrific dolphin mortality north coast of Peru

I arrived here on Tuesday 3/28. On that one day we found 615 dead dolphins on 135 kilometers of beach north of San Jose, Peru. This tragedy is unspeakable. I have never heard of this level of UME (unusual mortality event). BlueVoice is working with Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos of ORCA Peru. Tissue samples have been obtained and will be analyzed. This must be investigated.

We have video and stills for the media. You can reach me at

Friday, February 10, 2012

Estrogen Imitating pollutants Lead to Larger Breasts, Obesity, Diabetes

Huffington Post has just published my blog on the impact estrogen imitating chemicals ingested through fish (and dolphin meat) can have on obesity, diabetes and larger breasts in women – AND MEN! Toxic data a great tool to end dolphin hunt for meat. Please forward to friends and RT. Also Like and Comment on the blog.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

DVD-R on History of Fight to End Dolphin Hunt

"When Dolphins Cry", my film on efforts to end dolphin killing at Iki, Futo, and #Taiji, Japan is now available. It begins at Iki in 1979. Includes story of Mr. Ishii's conversion from dolphin hunter to dolphin watch leader. Important background to today's efforts to stop the killing. DVD-R at Amazon

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Test Results from Meat of Spotted Dolphins

Working in conjunction with ELSA Nature Conservancy BlueVoice now has results of our testsw of the meat of striped dolphins recently killed at Taiji. These results will be widely disseminated in Japan and worldwide. Here are the results:

According to the initial report,
mercury : 1.68ppm --4.2 times higher than the maximum allowance level

methyl mercury: 0.85 ppm --2.8 times higher than the maximum allowance level

PCBs : 0.62 ppm --a little bit(1.24 times) higher than the maximum allowance level

More data shortly.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Killing and Eating Dolphins Expanding Worldwide

By Hardy Jones
Photo of dolphin meat by Carlos Yaipen Llanos, ORCA Peru

Breaking news World Dolphin Hunt

We have recently learned that hundreds of dolphins are found dead, butchered and the meat consumed in Peruvian fishing villages. Until recently Japan has been the world villain in the area of killing dolphins for food. Now it is becoming clear that slaughtering dolphins and other marine mammals such as dugong and sea lions is more common than thought and very likely spreading as world fisheries collapse.

Rather than fighting to end the killing country-by- country or even village-by-village, BlueVoice and our associates are conducting toxic testing on dolphins worldwide. This, along with compilation of scientific papers on levels of contamination in marine mammals, will be published in a white paper, on the web via networking sites, in videos with special emphasis on reaching consumers.

We are also working to find epidemiological information that ties consumption of contaminated marine mammal meat to specific diseases. Finding high levels of heart disease and Parkinson’s in the Faroes is one example. We are working with ORCA in Peru to study and publicize the fact that people who eat dolphins in fishing villages in Peru have extremely high incidence of diabetes – a disease that can be brought on by ingesting high levels of heavy metals and organic pollutants such as PCBs.

It is vital that we alert consumers to the dangers of eating marine mammals, especially to prevent the consumption of these products by school children. It is imperative that we stop children from developing a taste for marine mammal meat in their formative years. This will prevent a lifetime of consumption of these wonderful animals.