|< Media Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 23, 2008
Contact: Hardy Jones, BlueVoice.org
WHITE PAPER ENTITLED “A SHARED FATE” REVEALS LINKS
BETWEEN OCEAN TOXINS AND CANCER IN MARINE MAMMALS
Cancer has long been considered rare in dolphins and other marine
mammals. In recent years significant incidence of cancer has been found in
locations among dolphins and other marine mammals around the world,
foremost among the beluga of the St. Lawrence Estuary and sea lions along
the coast of California. There are clear links to complicity of ocean toxins in
the etiology of these diseases.
In addition there is growing evidence that humans consuming contaminated
fish, and especially those eating marine mammals, are putting themselves at
risk for certain forms of cancer.
Bluevoice.org, an internet-based marine conservation organization, has
released version 1 of A SHARED FATE, documenting risks shared by humans
and dolphins consuming fish and marine mammals from contaminated ocean
Recent studies have shown that dolphins lack genes which would enable
them to process persistent organic pollutants and are thus at far higher risk
of disease when they consume fish which have high levels of these
chemicals. The rise of such chemicals in the marine environment coupled
with genetic inability to process them poses a catastrophic threat to dolphins
Dr. Brian Durie, Executive Director of the International Myeloma Foundation,
has conducted DNA studies on patients with multiple myeloma (a form of
blood cancer) and found genetic links that help explain the connection
between environmental toxins such as dioxins and benzene with increased
risk of myeloma and other cancers.
Dolphins and humans are exposed to the same toxins in seafood. Over two
billion people worldwide rely on seafood as a major source of protein.
Scientists at Texas A & M University have studied the human and dolphin
genomes and concluded they are basically the same.
"Dolphins and humans will ultimately share the same fate if unfettered
industry continues to pump vast quantities of chemicals into the marine
environment. The more we learn about the genetics of humans and dolphins
the more we find we are almost identical.” said Hardy Jones, Executive
Director of BlueVoice.org. "Dolphins thus become sentinels warning us of the
state of the oceans and what they are saying is that we are poisoning one of
the planet’s great food sources.
A SHARED FATE contains a report on the high levels of contaminants
ingested by Japanese who eat dolphin and whale meat. BlueVoice, in
collaboration with Japan’s Elsa Nature Conservancy, has recently tested a
sample of citizens of Taiji, Japan – some who consume dolphin meat and
some who do not. Those who eat dolphin meat have extremely high levels of
mercury in their bodies.
A SHARED FATE also contains facts sheets on persistent organic pollutants
and heavy metals, a glossary of terms relevant to this subject, and several
technical papers related to the genetics of humans and dolphins as they
relate to toxins and disease.
The mission of BlueVoice.org is to reverse the catastrophic decline in the
vitality of the oceans and restore them to an abundant and pristine state
capable of supporting thriving wildlife and a healthy and sustainable food
source for humanity.
Our concern for dolphins and whales is both for their right to exist as living
creatures in the ocean and as symbols and sentinels of the status of the
Our current emphasis is researching and making known the levels of
pollution in the marine ecosystem that have contaminated much of the
diminishing populations of fish by bio-concentrating toxins to the point where
many large marine species have been declared to be toxic for human
consumption. Our most important campaign today is researching and making
known the connection between contaminated fish and clusters of cancer and
hormonal disruption in humans.
Our most recent film, “The Dolphin Defender”, premiered on PBS and is in
A DVD with a fifteen minute film, the full white paper in English and sections
of the paper related to Japan translated into Japanese is available from
BlueVoice.org has additional information in text and video:
Support for presentation of A SHARED FATE at the 2008 International
Whaling Commission has come from OceanCare and LegaSeas International.
PDF of this Fact Sheet.