Sea Shepherd had an undercover operative in the Faeroe islands recently, and just days ago, we received shocking images of slaughtered pilot whales with unborn calves having been cut out of the mothers' bodies. These mammals are killed during what the locals call "the Grind," but more accurately should be called what it is--slaughter.

The Faeroese claim that the Grind is a traditional and cultural right and a source of food, yet the issue of mercury contamination is once again brought to the fore because Faeroese chief medical officers Pal Weihe and H?gni Debes Joensen announced in late 2008 that pilot whale meat and blubber contains too much mercury, PCBs and DDT derivatives to be safe for human consumption.

There is a lot of talk from environmentalists about the high level of mercury contamination in certain fish and large marine animals. The fishing industry and pro-fishing lobbyists tell us that this is just vegetarian hippy scaremongering and we should eat all the fish we can because it is good for us.

Because the directors at Sea Shepherd are asked about this so often, I thought it would be an idea to detail some sourced information and let you decide for yourselves.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made this announcement in 2006: "Imported canned 'chunk light tuna' (mostly skipjack) contained nearly ten times the level of mercury deemed the cut -off for 'low mercury' fish." The first FDA report on methylmercury in fish appeared in 1994 and warned consumers that shark, swordfish, and albacore tuna contained unsafe levels of mercury; however, under pressure from the tuna industry, a billion dollar enterprise in the U.S., albacore tuna were removed from the warning.

Marion Nestle, chair of New York University's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health said, "Everyone should avoid eating much of the fish that are highest in methylmercury--especially shark, swordfish, and tuna...pregnant women and young children should not eat such fish at all."

Let's move over to Japan.

Tests on whale meat for sale in Japan have revealed astonishing levels of mercury, according to Andy Coghlan in the New Scientist in 2002. "While it has long been known that the animals accumulate heavy metals such as mercury in their tissues, the levels discovered have surprised even experts. Two of 26 liver samples contained over 1970 micrograms of mercury per gram of liver. That is nearly 5000 times the Japanese government's limit for mercury contamination."

At these levels of contamination, a 170 lb man eating just 0.15 grams of whale liver would exceed the weekly mercury intake considered safe by the World Health Organization, say Tetsuya Endo, Koichi Haraguchi, and Masakatsu Sakata from the University of Hokkaido. They carried out research and found that "acute intoxication could result from a single ingestion."

The above information has numerous sources, but I took the information from Richard Ellis's book, Tuna - Love, Death and Mercury.

Sharks, swordfish, tuna, whales, dolphins, and other large marine animals tend to be long-lived and carry more mercury than small fish, because they accumulate more mercury as they eat large quantities of the smaller fish and sea life.

Certainly there are fishing industry experts and lobbyists who tell us there is no risk. I wonder how many of these lobbyists allow the pregnant women and children in their families to eat these species...

So if the problem is real, I am often asked, why do the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and just about every other nation allow us to eat mercury-contaminated fish? Because commercial fishing is a multi-billion dollar global industry, and they care about your money - not necessarily your health.

Sea Shepherd
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
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Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
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Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
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Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #Breaking #SeaShepherd helps scientists learn more about #rare Beaked whales! Did you know that Cuvier's Beaked whales hold the record for the deepest mammalian dive? Watch t...
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is returning to Mexico’s Gulf of California for Operation Milagro III to save the near extinct vaquita marina porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The M/V Farley Mowat is back on active duty with the M/V Sam Simon joining the Milagro campaign for the first ti...
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
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Entanglement in the South
Entanglement in the South
Operation Guardian Angel - In and around Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Gulf of California, countless marine species are entrapped in nets with little or no hope of rescue. Rosalia Tellez works for CONANP, a department of the Mexican government that acts as park rangers to enforce laws and assist in ...
Good and Bad Days
Good and Bad Days
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers over the course of two days. The first day Sea Shepherd locates and removes a long line from the sea; fortunately no animals were caught in the net. However, the next day volunteers find a sea lion that has been caught and died in a fisherman's net.
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
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Illegal Totoaba Nets
Illegal Totoaba Nets
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers through the process of locating, retrieving and disposing of illegal nets in the Gulf of California.
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
August 12th 2016: Early Thursday morning the R/V Martin Sheen assisted Melissa Willie, a band councilor of the Musgamagw Dza’wada’enuxw nation, in hand delivering a letter to three farms expressing the nations disapproval of the industry. Sea Shepherd crew alongside independent biologist Alexand...
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
Ross McCall travels to the Faroe Islands to explore the truths behind the centuries old tradition of the brutal Pilot Whale drives.
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Sea Shepherd Chairman of the Board, actor/activist Pamela Anderson, cautions viewers about the dangers of eating farmed salmon.
Why Just One?  Indiegogo Video
Why Just One? Indiegogo Video
Support Sea Shepherd's documentary by sharing and backing our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6
Milagro Summary - English
Milagro Summary - English
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project is dedicated to collect samples from whales in the Gulf of California to measure levels of toxins in whales in order to determine the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California itself. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage. Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act. The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the wor...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Watch‬ the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the ‪Sea of Cortez‬. We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the ‪‎vaquita‬ porpoise's habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do....
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
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Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of ‪Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered ‪vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered. Watch all episodes at: http...
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Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
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Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the #VaquitaMarina - The most endangered cetacean in the world. Help us save the vaquita at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/donate-now/vaquita-appeal...