On the Faroe Islands, which are located in the North Atlantic and which are a part of Denmark, deaths and illnesses occur amongst the population from consumption of contaminated whale meat. The marine mammal protectors Juergen Ortmueller from the “Whale and Dolphin-Protection-Forum (WDSF) and Andreas Morlok from “Project Whale-Protection Action” (ProWal) are now uncovering health threats with horrible consequences on the islands.
Andreas Morlok (ProWal): “Through natural occurrences, like rivers flowing into the ocean, poisons like mercury and PCBs, which are produced by humans, will end up in the ocean. The whales are at the end of the food chain and they end up taking in these poisons through food. The marine mammals cannot dispel these poisons and consequently these toxic substances are stored in their meat and blubber. In spite of this high contamination whales are being hunted and consumed by the population of the Faroe Islands.”
The two leading representatives of these animal-protection organizations were conferring with contamination expert and researcher Pal Weihe, from the “Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health” on the Faroe Islands (www.health.fo). Mr. Weihe is given substantial resources by Denmark and the EU for his long term research projects.
During the several hourlong conversations with this scientist facts came to light that left the activists speechless. According to an old and bloody tradition the Faroese annually slaughter pods of pilot whales numbering around 900 head that get lost in the fjords and then get herded into the bays. Pal Weihe has conducted research on the Faroese for over 20 years ( http://www.chef-project.dk/PDF/Medical_Recom_Whale.pdf). Whale meat is 100 times more contaminated than fish and shows an average of 2 ppm of mercury and PCBs (fish only 0.02 ppm) It takes the human body 10 years to break down PCBs. The World-Health-Organization advises against the consumption of whale meat.
Some time ago in Japan over 1000 people died from the consumption of highly contaminated dolphin meat, which was contaminated through a chemical accident. To date there are still handicapped people and disfigured children around.
Scientific studies are now showing that on the Faroe Islands children are afflicted with learning and movement disabilities as well as disruptions of the central nervous system. Infants are ingesting the poisons through the mother’s milk, which is a carrier of the most concentration of toxins worldwide. The number of people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease is double the amount here on these islands compared to those for instance on the Danish mainland. The meat of smaller pods of whales is distributed gratis among senior citizens homes.
Recently two young people died on the Faroe Islands and the cause was assumed to be the deficit of the vitamin L-Camitine, which is produced by the body. But the two marine mammal protectors think that there is a connection to the consumption of contaminated whale meat. They warned the people not to consume any of these contaminated products. The primary newspaper “Sosialurin” published the warning of WDSF and ProWal in conjunction with their visit. But the Faroese did not heed the warnings and continued to slaughter whales.
As per EU regulations whale meat should be disposed off as hazardous material. On the Faroe Islands, a non-member of the EU, the whale meat is still considered a delicacy. The Faroe government has not issued a declaration of prohibition for the consumption of whale meat. Only recommendations are in existence that people should consume whale meat only once or twice a month and that pregnant women and those who want to become pregnant should abstain altogether.
The activists asked around the islands and discovered that people eat whale meat several times a month. The meat is either frozen or marinated in salt to keep from spoiling. The harvest from around 900 whales amounts to abt. 450.00 kilos of meat and blubber. This means that if 32.000 of 48.000 inhabitants consume whale meat, every person gets to eat 14 kilos of meat annually, all gratis.
Furthermore, Pal Weihe could prove that the quality of semen worldwide is being considerably lowered by methyl-mercury and PCBs. But even this fact is being shrugged off by the Faroese men. The fishermen told the two German visitors that they are of the opinion that whale meat is increasing their potency – possibly a grave and far-reaching misconception.
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