Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baby Dolphins Die part2

Another Baby dolphin has washed ashore the Mississippi coast today. This makes the 18th baby dolphin in the past few weeks and a total of 28 dolphins, both adults and babies, since January.


Fourth baby dolphin found dead on Horn Island (Updated 11:10 a.m.)

- klnelson@sunherald.com

Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/02/21/2881134/baby-dolphin-deaths-spike-on-gulf.html?storylink=addthis#ixzz1EkwVsud3

HORN ISLAND -- The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies has confirmed that a fourth baby dolphin has washed ashore on Horn Island,
The island, one of the longest in the chain that comprises the Gulf Islands National Seashore Park, is about 12 miles south of Ocean Springs.
Three baby dolphins were pinpointed Monday and a fourth was reported today by National Resource Advisory employees who are working with BP cleanup crews on the island.

Researchers with the IMMS are headed to the island now to take tissue samples and possibly remove the bodies back for studies.
These infant dolphins are among the 18 reported since January.
The four are also among the 28 total adult and infant dolphins reported since the beginning of the year. None of the dead adults were pregnant females.
The industry’s leading scientist on marine mammal strandings is concerned about these deaths.
Blair Mase, NOAA’s marine mammal stranding coordinator for the Southeast region, confirmed that the number of baby dolphin deaths is high.
She said the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies reports all its findings to her.
So far this calving season, 18 infant dolphins have either been stillborn or died shortly after birth.
“We’re definitely keeping a close eye on this situation,” Mase said. “We’re comparing this to previous years, trying to find out what’s going on here.”
She said this is the time of the year that she sees death in young dolphins, because it is the beginning of the birthing season. But really, the normal birthing season is a little later in the year, she said.
“We’re trying to determine if we do in fact have still births,” she said. There are more in Mississippi than in Alabama and Louisiana.

“With the oil spill, it is difficult,” she said. “We’re trying to determine what’s causing this. It could be infectious related. Or it could be non-infection.
“We run the gamut of causes,” she said, including human impact, which would include the oil spill; infectious disease and bio-toxins,
IMMS has been conducting necropsies on the baby dolphins and sharing the findings with Mase.
Read more about this story later today at sunherald.com. Reporter Karen Nelson and photo journalist Amanda McCoy are on Horn Island today and will be reporting exclusively on what’s happening on the island.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby Dolphins Die...


Infant dolphins dying in high numbers (Updated 4:15 p.m.)

- klnelson@sunherald.com

GULFPORT -- Baby dolphins, some barely three feet in length, are washing up along the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines at 10 times the normal rate of stillborn and infant deaths, researchers are finding.
The Sun Herald has learned that 17 young dolphins, either aborted before they reached maturity or dead soon after birth, have been collected along the shorelines.
The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies performed necropsies, animal autopsies, on two of the babies today

Moby Solangi, director of the institute, called the high number of deaths an anomaly and told the Sun Herald that it is significant, especially in light of the BP oil spill throughout the spring and summer last year when millions of barrels of crude oil containing toxins and carcinogens spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil worked its way into the Mississippi and Chandeleur sounds and other bays and shallow waters where dolphins breed and give birth.
This is the first birthing season for dolphins since the spill.
Dolphins breed in the spring and carry their young for 11 to 12 months, Solangi said.
Typically in January and February, there are one or two babies per month found in Mississippi and Alabama, then the birthing season goes into full swing in March and April.
“For some reason, they’ve started aborting or they were dead before they were born,” Solangi said. “The average is one or two a month. This year we have 17 and February isn’t even over yet.”
Deaths in the adult dolphin population rose in the year of the oil spill from a norm of about 30 to 89, Solangi said.
Solangi is gathering tissue and organs for a thorough forensic study of the infant deaths and is cautious about drawing conclusions until the data is in, probably within a couple of weeks.
“We shouldn’t really jump to any conclusions until we get some results,” Solangi said. “But this is more than just a coincidence.”
The institute told the Sun Herald that it has collected 14 infant dolphins in the last two weeks and three in Mississippi today.
The institute has done a number of the autopsies, but no trend has emerged yet.
“Of the two calves on the table today, one appears to have had trauma,” Solangi said. “It was a very small calf.”
But he said that trauma to the body often occurs after a baby has died because the mother or other dolphins try to get the baby to breathe.
“I don’t believe the calf died because something hit it,” Solangi said.
“Some of the trauma you see in a baby dolphin death is the result of the mother or other animals around it trying to get it back. They don’t realize it’s dead until sometime later,” he said.
Read more about the infant dolphin deaths in Tuesday’s Sun Herald.

Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/02/20/2881134/baby-dolphin-deaths-spike-on-gulf.html#disqus_thread#ixzz1Ee0uMCku


This is beyond tragic and I am extremely worried about this. I fear this is far from over. Anyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about IMMS and Moby Solangi. I am worried that these test will come back inconclusive or some reason other then BP. I truly hope someone steps in and does more test, or that IMMS will do the right thing.
 I will keep a close eye on this and keep updating.

If you are not familiar with Moby Solangi or IMMS, PLEASE read my blog post on them. Thank you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


A wonderful video from Eric. This video shows what we, the human race, has done to our Earth and our fellow earthlings. When will we see what we have done? When will we stop? Will it be to late?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A promise to our Oceans....

I will never let you fall,
I'll stand up with you forever,
I'll be there for you through it all,
Even if saving you sends me to heaven.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The life and death of slaves

 One warm sunny day in May, a sweet baby boy entered this world. This was not an ordinary boy, and his life was going to be anything but normal. Not only was this little one born into slavery, but his mother was very young, only 8 years old, and had been abused by her mother. The slave masters saw nothing wrong with the young mothers age, and figured other female slaves would help raise the baby boy. When the boy was about 8 months old, it was clear his young mother wanted nothing to do with her child. She was over being a mother and made it known when she attacked the child. The slave owners took the baby from his mother, and put him in the care of some of the older slaves. A few months later the owners decided the baby was to much of an issue for them, and sent the 10 month old baby boy to another slave owner to be cared for.
  At his new home the baby found love in an older female slave, who cared for him as if he was her own. The bond between them was clear to all that saw them. As he grew up he adapted well to the life of slavery. He was known as being a very sweet and gentle boy, to both slaves and to his slave holders. Sadly, his sweet disposition made him an easy target for others, and he was picked on often. He was a favorite of his slave owners, and they had high hopes for the young boy.
  One day in September the 12 year old boy became ill. His slave owners called in doctors to care for him, and he was given around the clock care. Sadly, the next day his condition worsened and the the 12 year old died. It was a tragic loss to his fellow slaves and his owners who had such high hopes for what the boys future could have held for them.
 Do you find this story sad? Would it change things if you knew that this was not actually a human boy, but a Orca named Sumar? If so, why?

Taima and Sumar

     In the wild, orcas do not start breeding until they are older, normally 15 or so. Orcas also stay with their families there whole lives, and learn what they need to survive and caring for young from their families. Taima's (Sumar's mother) own mother Gudrun was captured in the wild at a young age. She did not know how to mother her young. It is documented that she was aggressive to both Taima and Tamia's sister Nyar. She tried to drowned them on many occasions. Gudrun died in 1996 due to complications during birth, her daughter Nyar died a few months later. (Note: in the wild Orcas give birth every 5 years. Gudrun had 3 offspring, one being her cause of death, in 7 years.) . Tamia had lost her whole family.  Trainers and experts felt that the way Tamia's mother treated her and her sister confused her. Which is why she mistreated her own calves; Sumar,Tekoa and Malia.


    On the day that ended her mothering duties to Sumar, while performing, Taima started biting Sumar, and throwing him out of the pool, onto the trainers platform. She then slid out herself and started biting him. The show was stopped, and Taima was pulled to the other swimming pool. It was a few months after that he was transferred to San Diego and was mothered by Corky.
    Tekoa, Taima's second calf, was born in 2000. Kalina and Katina, two older orcas, helped Taima with the birth. Again after 9 months together, Taima got aggressive towards Tekoa. This time the older Katina was there to protect the young Tekoa. This angered Taima and she attacked Katina, who herself was pregnant. This caused sever stress in Katina and she almost lost her own calf. After this event Taima was separated from all whales, except Tilikum.

Katina, Malia, Taima
      She gave birth again in 2007 to Malia, despite being unfit for her other two calves. She again became aggressive, and Malia was moved into the care of Kalina.
     Once again, even after mistreating and having 3 calves taken from her, Taima became pregnant a 4th time  (4 in 12 years) in 2010, and died of complications of birth (placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is delivered before the calf).

Tilikum and Taima
   Sadly, Sumar, who was on the other side of the country, died months after his mother. The official cause was due to a twisted intestinal tract. Before his death, Sumar was used in multiple shows and was soon to take his place in the breeding stock of Seaworld, like his father, Tilikum.


 You may not like what I have to say. You may choose to close your eyes and ears, and pretend you don't know what I am saying. But truth of the matter is, Seaworld are nothing more then Slave Masters. You may think that all is fine and dandy, and the animals are happy and healthy, but they are not. Females begin breeding way to early and way to often. Multiple females have died giving birth and they have all had many calves in a short time. All but 2 orcas in captivity have died extremely young. Corky of Seaworld San Diego and Lolita of  Miami Seaquarium are both in their 40's. This is about middle aged for Orcas in the wild. Lolita's own mother is in year 80's and still going strong. A female orca, a member of the J- pod (J-2 known as Granny), will be turning 100 years old this year. This is not a rare thing, as many wild Orcas living of the coast of Washington state are known to live very long lives.

 I was looking for the perfect video to share of these amazing creatures. I found a few that just touched my heart. I don't agree with these animals being in Captivity, and using video's from Pro-Captive people is hard for me. But it is clear, that so many people loved these animals. So, here are a few of my favorite ones.

RIP Sumar...

RIP Taima

RIP Taima and Sumar

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whaling Fleet heading home?

Is it real? Is it a ploy? Is it forever? Is it just for the season? Is it for just for a few weeks or days?  Many question the latest news, but one thing is clear. For today, for this moment in time, Japan has suspended its whaling in the southern ocean, for that we should celebrate. There is no evidence that they will never return to the Southern Ocean, so our celebration might not be forever, but for now, Sea Shepherd has won.

  The headlines are everywhere, and with each one, the victory seems more sweet and more real.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Whalers Have Been Shut Down!
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

The three captains of Sea Shepherd's Operation No Compromise. Photo: Sam SielenIs it a ploy or the real deal?

The Japanese Fisheries Agency is saying that the whale hunt has been suspended due to the interventions of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

I think it is premature to see this as a victory for the whales yet. There has been no mention of how long this suspension will be. It could be permanent, for this season only, or it could be for a matter of weeks or even days.   Read more Here

Clash between whaling ship and opponentWhaling: Beginning of the end?

Richard Black | 12:36 UK time, Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Is this the beginning of the end for Japanese whaling in the Antarctic?
The Fisheries Agency (FAJ) hasn't formally declared the season over, but it appears likely that the fleet will soon be on its way out of the Southern Ocean and back to harbour. Read more here.

Japan halts Antarctic whale hunt

Andrew Darby
February 17, 2011
AFTER decades of bitterly opposed Antarctic ''research whaling'', Japan has suspended its hunt and is near to formally pulling out only halfway through the current season.
Following a sustained Sea Shepherd pursuit, the whalers have had their kills slashed at a time when financial demands are tightening in Tokyo and international diplomatic pressure is rising.
The sudden shift has raised expectations that Japan may be moving to end the 23-year-old program, which has killed around 10,000 Antarctic whales.     Read more here


Latin America urges Japan to stop whaling
BUENOS AIRES — Latin American members of the International Whaling Commission urged Japan Monday to stop "scientific" whaling in Antarctic waters and respect sanctuaries for the species.
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay have refused to hunt nearly a thousand whales, including endangered species, in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, according to a statement posted on an official Argentine government website.
The countries are members of the anti-whaling Group of Buenos Aires (GBA).
Japanese whalers kill hundreds of the mammals a year in Antarctic waters.  Read more here

Japan suspends whale hunt after chase by protesters

TOKYO | Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:19am EST

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has suspended its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic for now after a hardline anti-whaling group gave chase to its mother ship and it may call the fleet back home, a government official said.Regular attempts by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to interrupt hunts have caused irritation in Japan, one of only three countries that now hunt whales and where the government says it is an important cultural tradition. READ MORE HERE

Japan suspends annual whale hunt

By Junko Ogura, CNN
February 16, 2011 9:30 a.m. EST
(CNN) -- Japan has suspended its annual Antarctic whale hunt because an anti-whaling group is tailing its ship, a government official said Wednesday.
Hirosh Kawamura, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the hunt has been "temporarily suspended" since February 10 due to the actions of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
"We have experienced the dangerous attacks from them, it might take the life of crews," he said. "Considering the safety as the first priority, we decided to halt the whaling temporarily."
Read more Here

Regardless to if  this is  temperary or perminate, the crew and supporters of the SSCS deserve a big THANK YOU!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Mothers Broken Heart

  I was watching my video "Keep Holding On" and I started thinking about my son, Linden. Linden is 3 years old, the "ripe" age for taking dolphins and Orcas in the wild. I immediately felt an overwhelming sadness, a heartache so strong, it was unbearable. Its a pain that I'm sure most parents could relate to, and many have had to go through, the loss of a child.  I thought of Lolita, who was stolen from her mother when she was about Linden's age. I thought of her mother, and the fear and pain she must have endured those horrific days. My next thoughts tore through my soul, "Does she still think of her sweet baby girl?"
  Through research of wild orcas we have learned many things. We know they are extremely intelligent and we also know that their families are very important to them. Orcas stay in the same pod with their families forever. Some break off and form their own groups, but they stay in the same area, and meet up often. Its know different then human children growing up, moving out and starting a family of their own. They may spend days apart but the groups come back together always. In the 90's Lolita was played sounds of her family. She was very excited, and pushed herself up out of the water, as if to be trying to hear better. She still recognized her pods dialect, and she still was using it.  It was clear she remembered her family, do they remember her?

  Why would one think Ocean Sun (Lolita's mom) would not remember her sweet baby? If someone walked into our home right now, and stole Linden away from me, I promise you, I would remember him in 40 years. I bet that I would remember so many little details. Details only a mother would know or understand. My heart would long for him daily and I would never be the same. Do you think Ocean Sun feels the same? Do you think she misses her? Do you think she still gets that dreaded feeling of pain when she thinks of Lolita? Do you think she thinks of that horrific time when Lolita was ripped from her? Do you think she feels guilty for it? Do you think she wonders what if? I sit here and think of all the things that would go through my head and my heart on a daily basis, and I wonder if poor Ocean Sun is feeling it right now.
  I can go on a rage right about now, but this is not the time.   Although my anger is at a very high level, my heart breaks for this mother and child. I pray that Ocean Sun has found peace, I pray that the pain of all she has lost, has gone away. I pray that she doesn't remember. As an activist, as a person, and as a mother, I pray that one day she will be reunited with her long lost child. I pray that she and Lolita will be able to share the love between each other that only Mother and child knows. I pray that one day her broken heart will be made whole again. I pray its not to late.

  I have said many times that every night Linden says "Protect the dolphins" and "Swim Far, Swim Fast, Swim Deep", before bed. Well his knew thing is talking about Lolita. He tells me " Lolita misses her Mommy, she wants to go home!". I think of little Trevor, a boy that at just 10 years old, is fighting to bring Lolita home.  I think we should all take some lessons from our children. Our children, in their innocent and pure hearts get it. Their minds not fueled by greed, money, or fame...they know what is right. Why is it that its the adults, that teach morals and whats right and whats wrong, can not understand just how wrong this is?
Put yourself in Ocean Sun's place. Put yourself in Lolita's place. We can fix this family. We can mend these broken hearts.  Is money and greed really greater then the love of a mother and her child?

Send Them Home

Keep Holding On

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Revolution

 History has just been made today. After 30 years as the President of Egypt, Mubarak has stepped down. The events leading up to this day, has been filled with joy, excitement, pain, and tragedy. It started out as a large group of people in a peaceful protest. Thousands of people gathering to tell their leadership that they have had enough and it was time for a change. A revolution of the people. A peaceful revolution, that turned very violent by Mubarak supporters. For days, Mubarak supporters attacked the protesters, injuring thousands, and killing an untold amount. Many people were arrested and held in prison. Through all of this, the people stood strong. The true heart and soul of the people of Egypt has been seen. They did not give up, they did not give in. They have shown just what can be achieved if you stand up for what you believe in.
  As I watch the celebration that is going on in the streets of Egypt, I can feel the fire of these people. They have showed us all that we can achieve anything we set our minds to. It can be achieved peacefully and fast, you just have to rally the people and take a stand. I have a new inspiration today. I have a renewed hope in the future of our world. I know that if we stand together we can achieve anything. Our Oceans can be saved. The dolphins, the whales, the sharks, and seals can be saved. The captive dolphins and whales can be freed. We just need to rally the people and stand up for them. We need to stand as one, and say no more.  The brave and courageous people of Egypt stood up for their rights, for their freedom, while facing imprisonment and death. Our oceans and its inhabitants face death and imprisonment daily, will you stand up and be the voice? Will you be the revolution?

Egypt is Free! May they find the peace and happiness they desire and deserve. Freedom to the world and all its inhabitants!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guilty By Association

  Growing up I was often told "The company you keep is a direct reflection of yourself" or "You are only as good as the friends you keep". I fully understood this then, and it rings even more true to me today. The most positive people can quickly become negative around the wrong group. The most passive person can become aggressive. You are judged by the friends you keep, like it or not. So, it is up to you to choose your friends wisely. If you don't, you may find yourself guilty by association...

  Since the release of the award winning documentary "The Cove" we have seen many Marine Parks speak out against the film. They are upset that the move claims that they have involvement in the horrific Dolphin drives of Taiji. Facility owners, employees and supporters argue that their facilities do not take dolphins from these drives and point out that it is illegal in the US to import dolphins or whales that have been captured in this way. In 2009 Fred Jacobs, the Vice President of communication for Seaworld said "We think we're being unfairly criticized for something we're opposed to, haven't been involved with in 20 years, and when we were involved with it, it was for very good reasons," and went on to say "There was a time in our history when we took animals from this hunt, and of course we viewed it in a defensible way; they were the only animals that were going to survive. If you could ask these animals: 'Who wants to volunteer to go to an aquarium?' I think that you'd have quite a few animals that would volunteer." In part they are right, it is illegal in the US to obtain a dolphin or whale that has been caught in the wild, without special permits. But, they can not deny that not only are there loopholes in this law, but there are ways around it. It should also be pointed out that just because these facilities do not presently take dolphins from these drives, they still contribute to them.  It goes back to "Be careful of the friends you keep".
 In the USA if you want to own a facility that houses wild animals, you have to get a permit from the USDA. Once that permit is obtained, you are set. However there are organization that a park can become members of, that will give you accreditation. That is to say, they will give you their "seal of approval" and the park can get extra perks, like grants for the facility. Although there are many of these organizations out there, and the facility can be a part of more then one, there are a few major ones that most big facilities are part of.

Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Fewer than 10% of the approximately 2,400 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA accredited. Only zoos and aquariums that meet AZA "high standards" can become members.
    According to AZA of the 218 zoos and aquariums they have accredited, there are about 200 dolphins living in captivity. More than 75 percent of those were born in captivity. AZA has publicly denounced the dolphin drives of Taiji, and argued that they have nothing to do with them.
   Most major zoo's and aquariums are accredited by AZA. Some AZA members are: all three Seaworlds, Disney World, Six Flags, the Georgia Aquarium, Atlantis Paradise Island~Bahamas, The Vancouver Aquarium, and Ocean Park~Hong Kong. AZA claims to have extremely high standards, yet some of their members have been proven to have anything but high standards. But that is a different story, maybe we will visit that topic one day.

  So, Seaworld is a Member of AZA. Which is basically like a huge club, if you will. This means they are associated with all other facilities and organizations that AZA is associated with.

 World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)
WAZA is the unifying organisation for the world zoo and aquarium community. Its more than 300 members include leading zoos and aquariums, regional and national associations of zoos and aquariums, as well as some affiliate organisations from around the world. Together, they are "United for Conservation".
 Like AZA, WAZA also gives accreditation. Those looking for WAZA's "seal of approval" can be either an individual zoo or aquarium or a National organisation, such as AZA. AZA is a member of WAZA. AZA receives perks and benefits from being a member of WAZA.

So, we have Seaworld, who is a member of AZA, and AZA is a member of WAZA. Seaworld is associated with all facilities associated with AZA and WAZA, receiving benefits from both groups. So, lets look at WAZA.

 WAZA has many national associations that are members to their organization. One of these is JAZA.

Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA)
The purpose for establishing the Association is to promote various activities with the cooperative efforts of zoos and aquariums in Japan, thereby contributing toward the enhancements of scientific technologies and culture developments. It has 157 members, including zoos, aquariums, and other organizations. One of these members, The Taiji Whale Museum.

Need I go on? Well, I will, because I want this to sink in.

By joining a club, you are saying that you stand for all that group stands for. You understand that by joining that club you will be associated with all those who are affiliated with that club. Seaworld and AZA both claim to be against the dolphin drives, but yet,they are members of a club that not only condones it, but its memebrs actually take part in the drives.
 So here you go the cold hard truth.

Seaworld+AZA+WAZA+Taiji Whale Museum=

Seaworld is very much part of the dolphin drives, as is AZA. They can denounce the hunts and deny their involvement all they want. But as long as they are members of a group that is involved with these horrific drives, they are just as guilty. Which means every single person that walks into Seaworld's doors, to be entertained by the whales and dolphins they hold prisoner, might as well be holding a metal spike in one hand and a wooden stick in the other, because you have JUST as much blood on your hands, then the hunters of Taiji! Wait....I take that back. You have MORE blood on your hands, because if it was not for you, these dolphins would not be captured in the first place! Next time you are sitting in the stands watching whales and dolphins doing tricks in captivity, you remember the ones that are dying for YOU!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feeding school kids whale meat...

Article from The Wall Street Journal: JapanRealTime
Feb. 1 2011

Last week, public school children at Azabu Elementary School in central Tokyo’s Minato ward got a taste of controversy — and might not have even realized it.
In observance of a national week to commemorate lunches in public schools, Azabu Elementary served whale meat.
In a written statement sent in response to questions about the menu choice, the School Affairs Section of the Secretariat of the Minato Board of Education, the group’s official title, explained that each municipal elementary and junior high school in the ward can plan special menus during this week, and include traditional, local, historical, and cultural dishes. The statement didn’t say where the meat came from, nor how much it cost — but it said it was chosen as a “special menu,” and not because of an “economic reason.” Fried whale cutlets similar to those served at the school are currently being sold by Internet retailer Rakuten for 1,000 yen ($12.20) per 200 grams.
Japan continues to face international criticism for hunting whales in defiance of the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling set by the International Whaling Commission, and protesters like the Sea Shepherd group do their utmost to disrupt the hunt. Japan says the hunts are for research purposes, but some of the meat is commercially sold and finds its way to specialty whale-meat restaurants, supermarket shelves — and school lunch programs.
The meal marked a first of sorts for Azabu Elementary, which hasn’t opted before to serve whale to commemorate the week. But perhaps it wasn’t the first time in the school’s more than 100-year history: Whale was a source of protein in Japan’s post-war diet, and some middle-aged Japanese people fondly recall looking forward to whale the way today’s children look forward to pizza.
According to the Minato statement, whale isn’t a common menu option these days. But lunches with whale meat were regularly on the menu for a while after the war, when serving school lunch was restarted. Hence some schools recreated old menus including whale meat, as an effort to pass “traditional food culture” down to children.
Whale has been served at other public schools in the ward, and the Board of Education “has never got any complaint about it,” according to the statement.
Students aren’t forced to eat everything on their plates, and parents get copies of school menus in advance. That way, they can prepare for any dishes for which they might have dietary restrictions — or ethical objections.
And what did the children think? This blogger’s son said he ate all of it, and reported some of his friends liked it a lot. But he thought it was “only so-so,” and didn’t want to eat it again.


My thoughts on this article:

I am against the killing of all animals for human consumption, and I am 100% against the killing of Whales and Dolphins. Personally, it is my belief that all meat (regardless of the animal it comes from) does more harm to our bodies, then good.  I am extremely concerned about children eating whale, dolphin, and certain seafood that  has high mercury levels. I know that the Japanese government and many citizens do not believe these reports on high levels of mercury, and the government plays the mercury off as "natural mercury", but this is not the case. I strongly encourage everyone to do your own research on this. I don't want you to just take my word on it, just as I don't want you to take the Japanese governments word. Please look into research studies from around the world as well as in Japan, and make your own informed decision.
  I do appreciate how schools try to teach their students about culture, but I do question the reason. I know and understand that I am a "Westerner" and maybe I just wouldn't get it. I would really enjoy if someone could explain it to me (nicely without calling me a racist or worse). I strongly believe in culture and tradition. But, I am at a loss with "food culture".  Maybe its for the lack of strong rooted food culture in America? Don't get me wrong, that is not to say Americans have no food culture at all, because we do. However,  American food culture is usually rooted in a family, not the whole country. 
  I question schools serving whale meat to children for many reasons. If most younger generations do not eat whale on a regular basis, why would the government push it? Why can't they let this naturally dying culture just fade away?  Is it common for schools in Japan to teach tradition and culture? Does that not fall into the hands of the parents?  I am asking this to try to understand the difference in culture. Seeing I have so many Japanese guest, I was hoping that some of you might shed some light on this.  I feel that the job of our schools is to teach our children math, science, history, and reading and writing, of course there are a host of other courses, music, sports, foreign language, and so on. Although one could claim that feeding children whale meat, is in fact a part of Japans History, I don't think a child needs to eat the meat to understand the history. The plague was apart of Americas history, but we would not expose our children to it, just to teach them the history! Sound ridiculous? Well, with the toxic levels of mercury in whale meat, there really isn't much difference. Well, I guess there is, you see, if we exposed our children to the plague the would get sick pretty quickly and die. Feeding whale and dolphin meat to children, may take generations before it shows its true damage.  30 years from now and child could be born with a sever neurological  condition, because his or her parents ate highly toxic, mercury laced seafood and marine mammals as a child. Doesn't seem very fair to me.
  I do like how the school sends home a menu in advance to allow parents to decide if they want their child to eat what is being served. I guess what I would really like to know, is how many parents did not allow their children to eat the meat vs how many that did. I would also be interested in knowing what all the children thought of the meal, and if they felt that eating whale meat was the right thing to do, or if they planned on eating it again. I also think its funny that they fried the meat. This is not something that was done much in the past. But it seems that now days, people are making whale burgers and hot dogs, to try to appeal to the younger population. Its like adding cheese to veggies to get kids to eat it. Well, except veggies are not normally toxic.

 Any thoughts or insights? They are welcomed!