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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 23, 2008

Contact: Hardy Jones, BlueVoice.org
contact@bluevoice.org
(904) 819-5509

WHITE PAPER ENTITLED “A SHARED FATE” REVEALS LINKS BETWEEN OCEAN TOXINS AND CANCER IN MARINE MAMMALS AND HUMANS

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 habitats.

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 worldwide.

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.

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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 oceans.

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 international distribution.

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.

BlueVoice.org has additional information in text and video: http://www.bluevoice.org

Support for presentation of A SHARED FATE at the 2008 International Whaling Commission has come from OceanCare and LegaSeas International.

Download a PDF of this Fact Sheet.

 

 

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