• Posted by Califia Suntree on March 8th, 2010, 10:05 AM

    Last night, “The Cove” picked up the Best Documentary Oscar, which has (unsurprisingly) infuriated the dolphin-killing Japanese fisherman featured in the film. The film (which I’ve not yet seen) follows a covert mission by marine activists to unveil the practice of dolphin hunting in a hidden cove in Taiji, Japan; over the course of the hunting season, more than 2000 dolphins are driven into the cove by the fishermen, where they are dispatched with knives and spears. Apparently, some 20,000 dolphins are killed in Japanese waters annually–mostly, they say, for food.

    Though it is extremely high in mercury (12 times that of blue fin tuna), dolphin and whale meat does end up on Japanese menus and even in school lunches, sometimes unbeknownst to the diners. But while the Taiji fishermen publicly defend the dolphin hunt as a “food tradition,” Save Japan Dolphins reports that the fishermen told them it was actually a form of “pest control.” With fish stocks dwindling, the dolphins and whales are seen as competition for precious piscean resources. Yet another reason to be mindful of our fish consumption–the ramifications of collapsing fish populations are wider than we may think. Go here for a handy sustainable seafood pocket guide.

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