* Dolphins have very high mercury levels
* Mercury is a known cause of birth effects
* In 2010, hair samples from 1,137 Taiji residents was tested for mercury by the National Institute for Minimata Disease. The average amount of methyl mercury found in the hair samples was 11.0 parts per million for men and 6.63 ppm for women, compared with an average of 2.47 ppm for men and 1.64 ppm for women in tests conducted in 14 other locations in Japan. * The Japanese town of Taiji on the Kii peninsula is as of now the only town in Japan where drive hunting still takes place on a large scale. * In 2007 Taiji wanted to step up its dolphin hunting programs, approving an estimated ¥330 million for the construction of a massive cetacean slaughterhouse in an effort to popularize the consumption of dolphins in the country * an increase in criticism and the considerable toxicity of the meat appears to be achieving the opposite * Taiji's bid to expand their school lunch programs to include dolphin and whale meat brought about much controversy. An estimated 150 kg (330 lbs) of dolphin meat was served in Taiji school lunches in 2006. In 2009, dolphin meat was taken off school menus because of the contamination * Dolphins are top predators in Japan
* Primary or apex predators can actually benefit prey populations by suppressing smaller predators, and failure to consider this mechanism has triggered collapses of entire ecosystems. * Cascading negative effects of surging mesopredator populations have been documented for birds, sea turtles, lizards,...