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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BlueVoice investigates correlation between contaminants in marine mammals and human cancer clusters

A National Academy of Sciences committee stated "PCBs pose the largest potential carcinogenic risk of any environmental contaminant for which measurements exist." has joined Dr. Brian Durie, an internationally recognized specialist in the bone marrow cancer Multiple Myeloma, in research correlating populations of marine mammals burdened by high levels of toxins with human cancer hot spots on adjacent shores. Early results are compelling. It appears that marine mammals, such as the killer whales off Seattle, are sentinels warning us of dangerous contamination of the seas.

Dr. Durie, chairman of the board of the International Myeloma Foundation – - has just published the following paper on the connection between toxins, including those in the marine environment, with multiple myeloma. It is likely that correlations to other forms of cancer will emerge. Dr. Durie’s paper won recognition as a “Best of ASH” abstract at a recent meeting of the American Society of Hematologists.
The International Myeloma Foundation Identifies Potential Link Between Genetic Pathways and Environmental Risks For Myeloma
Toxins in Resident Coastal Dolphins Signal Dangers of Human Cancer




North Hollywood, CA, and Atlanta, GA, December 11, 2007 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) — today said findings from its myeloma DNA bank identified genetic links to bone disease in multiple myeloma, a cancer of cells in the bone marrow, that in some cases can also include bone deterioration. These findings also may both support and explain associations that have been observed between environmental toxins such as dioxins and benzene, and an increased risk for myeloma. The findings were made with resources from Bank On A Cure® (BOAC), the world's first repository of DNA samples created to advance the understanding of myeloma. They were presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of The American Society of Hematology in Atlanta on December 11th.
The study found that genetic pathways associated with the ability to neutralize environmental toxins are defective in patients with classic myeloma (myeloma with bone involvement). These pathways are identified as specific segments of genes called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs that are known to be associated with toxin metabolism and DNA repair. These findings are in line with observations of patient populations and groups of workers including firefighters that had previously demonstrated a correlation between increased risk for myeloma and exposure to hydrocarbons and related chemicals.
"Identifying these genetic pathways was unexpected," said Brian G.M. Durie. M.D., chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and lead author of the BOAC presentation. "We were looking at bone biology and the SNPs associated with toxin metabolism fell into place. Now, working back through the gene pathways, we have a robust model of myeloma bone disease that may explain the epidemiological observations."
 *Abstract #816: "Genetic Polymorphisms Identify the Likelihood of Bone Disease in Myeloma: Correlations with Myeloma Cell DKK1 Expression and High Risk Gene Signatures".
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[5062] New Bioaccumulations of Toxins in Resident Coastal Dolphins Signal Dangers of Human Myeloma.
Session Type: Publication Only

Brian G.M. Durie, Hardy Jones Aptium Oncology, Inc, Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center, Los
Angeles, CA, USA; Bluevoice. Com, Petaluma, CA, USA

Dolphins and humans are exposed to the same toxins in seafood. Over 2 billion people worldwide rely on seafood as their major source of protein and 60% of people live in coastal areas. Resident coastal dolphins are exposed to marine pollution in the same fashion as humans who frequently consume seafood, thus any indication of disease in dolphins has implications both for humans who eat regularly from the same areas and/or are otherwise exposed to the same toxins.
Although ecotoxicologic studies of marine environments are very complex, (Irwin: Aquatic Mammals 31:195-225, 2005), the bottlenose dolphin is a sentinel species for biomonitoring purposes. Tissue levels of many known carcinogens such as DDT, DDE, dioxins (e.g. PCDDs and 2,3,7,8 TCDD), BaP, PAHs, and more recently PFC and PBDEs (water repellants and fire retardants), reflect bioaccumulation in both dolphins and humans. Target sites where human and dolphin disease have been contrasted and compared are: North America (Alaska; Puget Sound; San Francisco Bay; Gulf Coast and Florida; St. Lawrence Seaway); Japan (Osaka Bay); Sweden; Coastal UK and Hong Kong (Pearl River estuary). For Alaska, Florida, Japan, Sweden and coastal UK, there are highly significant correlations between fish contamination/ consumption and excess risk of human myeloma. In Alaska, Inuit men eat contaminated fish, have high organochloride (dioxins) levels in blood and tissues and an increased risk of myeloma. Likewise for Swedish fisherman comparing Baltic (more contamination) versus west coast levels of dioxins and myeloma. In Japan, a case control study provides a highly significant odds ratio of 5.89 for agriculture/ fisheries as occupational factors. A separate study gives an annual age adjusted incidence of 7.03/100,000 for the Osaka Bay fishing region. Around Lake Okeechobee Florida an incidence rate of 6.52/100,000 correlates with both contamination and commercial fishing licenses.
Although dolphins share most human mammalian genes, including CYP1A and CYP2B, they lack the ability to adequately catabolize type I and II dioxins, which therefore preferentially accumulate. Unfortunately, observed results of these bioaccumulations are suppressed immunity, infections and cancers particularly Bcell lymphomas and myeloma-like immunoblastic lymphomas (Bossart: J. Vet Diagn Invest 9: 454-458, 1997). This pattern of diseases in turn corresponds with the local and systemic effects exemplified in Balb/c mice during pristane-induced plasmacytogenesis and in humans exposed to toxins.
Newly recognized persistent organic pollutants such as water repellants (PFCs) and flame-retardants
(PBDEs) are a particular concern, both because of rapid recent bioaccumulation in dolphins with associated disease manifestations plus the potential for wide global dispersal and diverse routes of human exposure. Numerous consumer goods contain PBDEs, including electronics, carpets, furniture and textiles. Genetic studies help refine probability calculations to assess risk using the union rule for independent events.
Studies are now underway to correlate recent bioaccumulations in dolphins and humans, genetic
predisposition and myeloma onset. Probability calculations for risk of developing myeloma will support
interventions to reduce both contamination of the marine environment and elimination of human toxin
Abstract #5062 appears in Blood, Volume 108, issue 11, November 16, 2006
Keywords: Prevention|Epidemiology|Risk factor
Publication Only

Cutting salmon catch could save voracious, endangered orcas: study

Cutting salmon catch could save voracious, endangered orcas: study

Matt Damon Narrates the Story of Dolphin Slaughter in Japan

Dolphin Sees Its Reflection

A Documentary by the Taiji Dolphin Killers

5 November 0

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sea Shepherd :: Frustrations Rise in Taiji: a Foiled Kidnapping Attempt on a Cove Guardian

Sea Shepherd :: Frustrations Rise in Taiji: a Foiled Kidnapping Attempt on a Cove Guardian
Gorillas are critically endangered... Virunga Rangers are among those who are trying to rescue them.

Christian carries the baby down to the Senkwekwe Center to wait for the vets and where the baby will live for the next month.
A small team of Virunga rangers played undercover cops this week when they posed as buyers for a poached baby gorilla. It all started two weeks ago when Shamavu, our dog unit team leader, received a call from some of his contacts about a baby gorilla trafficking ring. Sadly, we’ve now had several such incidences, and a system has been set up to track down the offenders, bring them to justice and recover the baby gorilla. A first undercover team was sent in to Kaina in the Lubero territory at the beginning of last week. This is a dangerous area with a strong militia presence. Shamavu led a team concealed as potential buyers. They were dressed in civilian dress but with their weapons at hand. Contact was made with the suspects, but unfortunately they were unable to see the gorilla, so they were forced to pull out. It was a tense and frustrating moment. On Thursday, he received a second message that a baby gorilla was in town, so we relaunched the operation. Shamavu and his team of four rangers and one court officer once again drove for eight hours to the remote town in a hired vehicle to avoid being recognized. This time, it all went like clockwork. He called in at six thirty last night, announcing that they had made three arrests and recovered the baby gorilla. Shamavu arrived at Rumangabo with the baby this morning, and the vets arrived an hour or so later. After an examination of the baby’s teeth and size, the Gorilla Doctors guessed the age at about a year and a half and said he appears healthy except for a possible skin fungus and lice. He will stay at the Senkwekwe Center at Rumangabo for a 30-day quarantine, separate from the other orphan gorillas, and then hopefully move to the Grauer’s gorilla sanctuary in Congo called Grace. The baby will be named Shamavu after the ranger who rescued him.



The Honourable Mac Harb L’honorable Mac Harb

Dear Friend,

The Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has recently begun a study that could result in the killing of 70,000 grey seals off Canada’s East Coast.

The Fisheries Minister is pushing federal scientists to justify the slaughter of seals through contrived studies and one-sided hearings for political reasons. He has decided to ignore factors such as the impact of uncontrolled foreign overfishing in the waters off our coast and the total lack of scientific proof that seals are affecting the cod’s recovery.

The committee is considering an irresponsible cull that could, in my view, have serious negative impact on the Atlantic ecosystem and the long term health of many species, including cod. This slaughter would also result in untold costs to taxpayers and to Canada’s international reputation.

I have called on the committee to do due diligence and gather scientific evidence from all sides of this issue, not simply the studies that fit in with the unjustifiable goal of killing 70,000 seals. I urge you to write to the committee and its members who can be contacted through the Committee website

The government needs to know how Canadians and people around the world feel about this indefensible slaughter.


Hon. Senator Mac Harb

Home - Fisheries and Oceans

Home - Fisheries and Oceans

Dolphin Dreaming

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dolphin dies after Swiss techno party

A dolphin has died at a Swiss amusement park just weeks after conservationists warned that loud noises could cause extreme distress to the cetaceans at a dolphinarium in the eastern town of Lipperswil.

Shadow, an eight-year-old dolphin, died on Tuesday, 20 days after a huge techno party was held only 50 metres away from Connyland, the amusement park where the aquarium is located.

Conservationists say the animal’s immune system may have been damaged by loud music at the 16-hour party.

Vets at Connyland were surprised by the death of the mammal on Tuesday, since Shadow had performed his daily training room with enthusiasm that morning, park director Erich Brandenberger told reporters.

Soon though, the dolphin became agitated. Despite efforts from his trainer to calm him down, Shadow stopped breathing and his pulse disappeared. Connyland has requested that the authorities carry out an autopsy to establish the cause of death. The results should be “ready in three or four weeks”, cantonal vet Paul Witzig told newspaper 20 Minuten.

Two animal protection groups had previously warned authorities of the dangers of holding such a loud event so close to the dolphinarium. “

"We fear the dolphins will suffer from stress,” said ProWal and Delfinschutz Forum in a joint statement before the party.
But the Veterinary Office from canton Thurgau saw no reason to ban the party, arguing that the facility where it would take place was built in such a way that the noise from outside would not prove a disturbance. In a pre-party statement, the office said there was no proof that exposure to loud noises for a few hours would affect the well-being of the dolphins.
“This is the seventh dolphin to die in this amusement park in only three years,” said animal welfare organisations Oceancare and Swiss Protection for Animals. According to them, the living conditions for dolphins at Connyland are “unacceptable.”

“It is unacceptable for the well-being of animals to be sacrificed in favour of profits with the blessing of the authorities,” said Sigrid Lüber, president of OceanCare.

In 2010, the organisation pressed charges against Connyland for an alleged serious violation of the Animal Protection Act. That case is still pending.

Sick Dolphin in Taiji Creates a Storm of International Protest

Nov 9, 2011

Elizabeth Batt

Jiyu, clearly emaciated, spyhopped repetitively - Image courtesy of Heather Hill, Save Japan DolphinsPleas to Dolphin Base in Japan requesting assistance for a sick dolphin affectionately named Jiyu have failed. Sources believe Jiyu was slaughtered.

Nov. 09, 2011. Cove Monitors and Guardians for both Save Japan Dolphins (SJD) and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) are reporting that despite a global and ardent social media campaign, a bottlenose dolphin, who captured the hearts of international dolphin activists, is believed to have been killed. Meanwhile, messages posted online by Dolphin Resort, appear to directly threaten activists on the ground in Taiji.

Dolphin develops neurotic behaviors

Rosie Kunneke, the lead Cove Guardian with SSCS in Taiji, spotted the sick dolphin several weeks ago where he was being held in a sea pen at Dolphin Base, Japan. Captured from the ocean during one of Taiji's grueling dolphin drives, Jiyu, (as named by Kunneke and meaning freedom in Japanese), was earmarked for captivity sources say, by Japan's, Dolphin Resort.

The dolphin first drew Kunneke's attention after he was observed displaying signs of distress and neurosis. Having been separated from his pod, Jiyu's anxiety was palpable as the bottlenose began to spyhop repeatedly. After receiving an injection of what Kunneke suspects was a sedative, Jiyu, Kunneke said, "Appeared calmer and did not spyhop as often." Yet despite the dolphin's sedated appearance, the Cove Guardian observed that Jiyu always kept his distance from trainers, refusing to interact with them and taking himself to the corner of his pen at feeding times.

At some point, says Kunneke, Jiyu was moved to another pen and observers lost sight of the bottlenose for a couple of days. When he was finally relocated in another sea pen, Sea Shepherd Guardians and SJD Cove Monitors were appalled by his condition and behavior. Heather Hill with SJD, reported that Jiyu was spyhopping repetitively every 15 seconds or so. Photographs taken by Hill, appear to show Jiyu emaciated to the point where his skeleton can clearly be seen.

He even refused to be stirred by the presence of fellow captive dolphins, Hill says. "If the other dolphins in the pen got too close, which they often did," she added, "[...] he'd simply drift over to another corner and continue spyhopping."

Jiyu, adds Hill, was completely ignored by the trainers at feeding time and was offered neither food or medical treatment. Kunneke later reported that she approached a man believed to be the owner of Dolphin Resort and politely asked in Japanese for freedom for Jiyu. "He just nodded his head and walked off," Kunneke said. Later when a fisherman actively involved in the dolphin slaughtering approached the pen, the SSCS Guardian suspected that Jiyu's fate had already been determined. The man after spotting Kunneke observing him, rapidly retreated; Kunneke remained near Jiyu and maintained visual contact with him until after dark.

Activists issue a call to action

Alarmed by both the dolphin's demeanor and his potential fate, Kunneke, along with SJD Monitors Leah Lemieux and Heather Hill, issued a call to action across social media platforms and asked supporters to email or telephone Dolphin Resort/Dolphin Base, to request that Jiyu receive, "Qualified veterinary assistance or assisted release with rehabilitation." Yet despite a slew of international calls and emails to both entities – the calls went unanswered. Now activists believe that Jiyu was slaughtered.

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After a Slow Start Dolphin Hunting has Ramped up in Taiji Hypocrisy in Taiji's Sister City: Let Dwyer's Painting Be Judged Dolphin Hunting In Taiji, Japan "We cannot see Jiyu anywhere," said Kunneke, "I saw a dolphin killer here yesterday and when we arrived here earlier, there was a dolphin killer hanging around. We suspect that Jiyu was killed."

Dolphin resort issues threats

Dolphin Resort it appears, is clearly going on the defensive. Visiting the official website for now redirects to a Japanese blog with the following message. "To anybody coming to Taiji as an activist, this website is only intended to be a warning. The message is simple. We know who you are, so behave yourself in Japan." Furthermore they write, in a posted Statement to Foreign Readers, "As long as activists put fishermen's faces on blogs, facebook, and youtube without their permission, we do the same for you."

The blog, which is hosted by someone calling themselves Pngtaiji, goes on to suggest that if concerned parties are "Really serious about requesting the Dolphin Base to release the dolphin, you should officially negotiate with the Dolphin Base, with Japanese translator/lawyer, and offer them the price of the dolphin, food, and expenses for releasing the dolphin." Pngtaiji then adds that, "The price of a dolphin is $300,000 according to Ric O'Barry's most recent comment. So suggest you to start collecting money."

Heather Hill told earlier this evening, "As we suspected, the dolphin killers returned and killed Jiyu either sometime last night or this morning. Hope he can find his peace now ..."

Pngtaiji meanwhile, asserts that the dolphin was receiving care, "Live dolphins makes money for such a facility, not the dead ones. Losing dolphins means big loss," they say, but claim to be "not related to Dolphin Base." did contact Pngtaiji about the whereabouts of Jiyu, and was told, "The dolphin is in good hands," but they would not confirm whether the dolphin had been moved or if he was still alive.

Japanese mafia involved?

Certainly tension is increasing all around for activists in Japan. Lauren Williams of Australia's Daily Telegraph, is reporting claims that Japanese "Yakuza" gangsters have launched a campaign of intimidation to force a media blackout on the furore surrounding the country's killing of dolphins and whales. Yazuka organizations are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan prevalent in the Japanese media. Called "boryokudan," by the Japanese police, the term literally means, 'violence group.' In Japan, writes Anthony Bruno of, "There are 110,000 active members divided into 2,500 families," with influence that extends into the USA.

Readers can watch Heather Hill's video report on Jiyu; Hill is a volunteer for the Wild Dolphin Foundation, an Hawaii-based NPO, and the author of My Porpoise Driven Life. She is currently on location in Taiji for Save Japan Dolphins with Leah Lemieux. Rosie Kunneke is on location in Taiji for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. For further information on the dolphin drives in Taiji and how to get involved, visit Save Japan or follow Kunneke's reports from Taiji at Sea Although, Jiyu's sex could not be determined, used "he" for clarity purposes

Read more at Suite101: Sick Dolphin in Taiji Creates a Storm of International Protest

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eric Lamazes horse Hickstead DEATH 06.11.2011

A Fall From Freedom

10/25/11 Latin America Unites in the Defense of the Antarctic and Whales Against Japanese “Scientific” Whaling

Sixty-three civil society organizations in Latin America, Caribbean and international that conduct work in the region asked their governments to take diplomatic actions against the next scientific" whaling season of Japan in the Southern Ocean.
10/25/11 Latin America Unites in the Defense of the Antarctic and Whales Against Japanese “Scientific” WhalingOctober 25, 2011 (CCC/Ecoceanos News) – Sixty three organizations from Latin-America, the Caribbean and international that conduct regional work in marine conservation united to request their governments the adoption of diplomatic measures and public opposition to the recent announcements made by the government of Japan in relation to retake from next December the so-called “scientific” whaling operations in the Southern Ocean and the “improvement of the security” of the Antarctic whaling fleet.
In a letter delivered simultaneously to representatives of 14 countries from the Buenos Aires Group, civil society organizations denounced the commercial nature of the so-called "scientific" whaling stating "Since the JARPA II (lethal research) program began in 2006, the annual whaling quota increased to almost half of all whales taken under special permits per year (of all nations that have conducted whaling operations under special permit), reaching levels that are similar to the commercial whaling annual quota for the Antarctic minke whale before the implementation of the moratorium."
"Apart from being a cover-up for commercial whaling operations thus violating the moratorium on commercial whaling, the "scientific" whaling program conducted by the Japanese government in Antarctica represents a growing and alarming threat to the governance of the Southern Ocean, the security of human life at sea and protection of the sensitive Antarctic marine ecosystem" they add.
In this respect organizations warn that "The challenging position of the government of Japan, of sending a patrol ship to protect the whaling crew, seriously threatens the principles established by the Antarctic Treaty as zone of peace free of weapeons (...) a situation that is even more worrisome because of the lack of transparency of the Japanese Government regarding the type of boat, defense personnel and instruments that would be used in the protection of the whaling fleet."
"In this complex context, we believe that the defense of peace and demilitarization of the Antarctic is crucial to ensure the governance of the Southern Ocean," they say.
For Elsa Cabrera, executive director of the Centro de Conservacion Cetacea in Chile "it is unacceptable that the Japanese government will once again turn the waters of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the scenery of the slaughter of hundreds of whales that are protected and now seeks to convert the area in a conflict zone that could seriously threaten the delicate ecosystem of the Antarctic and the safety of human life.
"In relation to the operations of the whaling fleet, the 63 representatives of civil society in Latin America and the Caribbean assert that Antarctica's delicate ecosystem is threatened by whaling operations and recalled that "in August of this year, measures taken by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) came into place, prohibiting the operation of heavy fuel ships in Antarctic waters, which is the type of fuel used by the Nisshin Maru".In this regard, the organizations question that the announcement of the government of Japan does not give any information about the type of fuel that will be used by the vessel during the next "scientific" whaling season.
In this context Juan Carlos Cardenas, veterinarian and director of Centro Ecoceanos said that "the conservation of whale stocks and the maintenance of peace in the Southern Ocean are issues of sovereignty, governance and international cooperation. These issues need to be reflected by the Buenos Aires Group in a clear diplomatic action against Japan, and exercise our historical interests and responsibilities in the Antarctic continent".
"The organizations concluded the letter stating that "As civil society organizations committed to the conservation of the marine environment, the effective conservation of cetaceans, defense of all life forms and peace, we see with deep concern the reprehensible conduct of the government of Japan, which both inside and outside the scope of the meeting of the IWC continues to show its unwillingness to improve the functioning of this important international organization. Consequently, and knowing your commitment with the conservation and respect to norms and international cohabitation, we ask the Buenos Aires Group to urgently take diplomatic actions to reject the recent announcements made by the Japanese government and send a clear and strong public sign of opposition to the slaughter of whales and the possible militarization of Antarctica”.
The Buenos Aires Group was created in 2005 with the aim to strengthen a regional position strongly committed with the conservation and non-lethal use of these marine mammals and currently has representatives in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Read the letter here
Source: Centro de Conservación Cetacea. Centro Ecoceanos