Whale consumption needs to be dramatically reduced to avoid mercury poisoning

Whale meat is processed for sale in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.Credit: Russell Fielding

Researchers studying whale mercury levels in the Caribbean are shocked to see dangerously high levels of toxic substances in whale products sold for human consumption. I did.

For many in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, whales are part of the diet. This is one of only four places in the world where artisan whaling is still permitted. Despite the popularity of whale meat in countries where 48% of residents are classified as poverty or vulnerable to poverty, researchers have intervened in the government to establish dietary recommendations to limit whale meat consumption. It states that the campaign should be started.

“Whale products contain high levels of mercury and can be consumed Whale meat Can wake up Health problems If it is consumed in large quantities too often. ” Marine science Associate Professor Jeremy Kiska, co-author of a study conducted in collaboration with local and international collaborators, including representatives of whalers.

Some species are at the top of the food chain Whale It carries a great deal of mercury from all the prey they eat.Killer whale known for eating Sperm whale Twice as large as in the Caribbean, it carries the highest levels of mercury.

Eating a mercury-rich diet can cause serious digestive and respiratory problems in people. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children born to mothers who consume high levels of mercury may suffer from developmental disabilities and cerebral palsy.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, whales are processed as soon as whalers arrive at the shore. Meat is sold in bundles weighing about one-third of a pound, consumed fresh, dried and then rehydrated, or cooked and stored in its own oil. The fat is fried in whale oil and sold as a Chicharron-style snack called “potato chips.” And the oil is sold as a cold remedy.

However, given its high mercury content, researchers say that a typical adult weighing about 132 pounds should eat less than 5 ounces of whale products per week.

Researchers also found that men are more than twice as likely to consume whale products as women, but women are the main planners for home meals. Intervention campaigns aimed at women are likely to protect the population from many impacts. Mercury Toxicity, the researchers said.

The study was recently published in a journal Human and ecological risk assessment..

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For more information:
Russell Fielding et al, Demographic and Geographical Patterns of Cetacean-Based Food Consumption and Potential Mercury Exposure within the Caribbean Whaling Community, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: International Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1080 / 10807039.2020.1870865

Quote: Https: // to avoid mercury poisoning (May 26, 2021) obtained on May 26, 2021 In order to dramatically reduce whale consumption

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Whale consumption needs to be dramatically reduced to avoid mercury poisoning

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