Dolphin Stranding, Ibaraki Prefecture, 11 April 2015. Lung damage not radiation related.

Last week I came across the Global Research report of the dolphin stranding which occurred on 10-11 April 2015 on a beach in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. The Global Research page included a “Google Translate” version of the Asahi Shimbun Japanese language newspaper account of the stranding.

Here is the Global Research link to the relevant post at their site:

I have facebook friends in Japan who have told me that “Google Translate” is hopeless with Japanese to English translations. Here’s the translation posted by Global Research, who, I would have thought, would have access to Japanese speakers to check Google Translate results”

“Asahi Shimbun, Apr 11, 2015 (emphasis added): Google Translate: Ibaraki Prefecture… for a large amount of dolphin which was launched on the shore… the National Science Museum… investigated… researchers rushed from national museums and university laboratory, about 30 people were the anatomy of the 17 animals in the field. [According to Yuko Tajima] who led the investigation… “the lungs of most of the 17… was pure white ischemic state, visceral signs of overall clean and disease and infections were observed”… Lungs white state, that has never seen before.”

The Headline for the Global Research version of the article is as follows: “Japan Scientist: “I’ve Never seen this Before”: White Lungs found in Dolphins that Died near Fukushima
Interruption of blood supply leading to death of tissue — Disease has been linked to radiation exposure”

However, a reading of the Japanese press which published their versions of the story, including the Asahi Shimbun, fails to find any mention of radiation as a cause of the white lung damage. Many articles published feature very clear colour photographs of the dead and dying dolphins on the beach in Japan. And although their skin is cut and hurt from their beaching, there is no sign of local radiation injury to skin (beta burn) which one would expect if a lethal dose had been suffered by the animals due to swimming in a cesium 137 contaminated sea of high dose.

Of course, with the global attention on the radiological state of Japan’s coastal waters, it is a worry that that sea creatures might suffer due to cesium contamination from Fukushima. People are worried that seafood might be unsafe to eat, and for some species that is still, indeed, as far as I know, the case. The Japanese fishermen who work the waters have suffered greatly since March 2011. There is no doubt, as reported by TEPCO itself, that fish that company have caught near the massed array of broken reactors were among the most radioactive ever caught anywhere by anyone.

But even those fish were alive and swimming around until caught by Tepco near that company’s radiological sewer.

I am disappointed that Global Research, whose editors are academics, headlined the article as they did and then used a deeply flawed Google inc translation of the Japanese press report which nowhere actually, in the official English version of the articles, mentioned radiation at all.

As for the claim that white lung afflicting dolphins has never been seen before, well that’s wrong. And I’ll show this in a minute, by quoting and citing an article written by one of the Professors who examined the Ibaraki dolphins on 11 April 2011. And by quoting from and citing a report on mass dolphin deaths from Peru.

But first I need to point something out.

Even though cesium contamination from Fukushima Diiachi and the rest of Japan’s nuclear industry (Japan has been pumping liquid nuclear waste into the coastal waters of Japan for decades, but that’s another story) is unquestioned by anyone, including nuclear experts/sales staff, there is one thing to point out about dolphins.

Dolphins are not fish. They don’t have gills, they do not rely on seawater for their oxygen, because they breathe through their blowholes. Now, if they accumulated a lethal cesium sourced radiation dose from food, they would have bleeding intestinal tracts and would have stripped intestines, bloody and liquid feaces. None of this is evident in the photographs of the creatures. The primary site of the exposure would not be the lungs if the seawater was the cause of the extreme exposure.

How did Global Research come to the conclusion that the lung damage seen in the dolphins was radiation damage? If one reads the article as published by Global Research, it is easy to read the headline naming radiation as the culprit as a quote from the scientist named in the article. But the scientist did not mention the word radiation at all. Here’s the Asahi Shimbun English edition of 10 April 2015:
Rescuers race to save 150 dolphins washed ashore in Ibaraki Prefecture
April 10, 2015 :

As I had trouble finding the article of 11 April 2015 in English, and only having Global Research’s terribly inadequate Google Translate version of it, I sought to contact the Japanese scientists involved in trying to save the dolphins and who examined the bodies of the ones who did not survive.

Yuko Tajima is the scientist mentioned in the Global Research post. Here is Yuko Tajima’s Research Gate page: The scientist works at the National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo, Japan. This young scientist may not have seen “white lung” damage before. However the condition is not unknown in its basic details – white looking and very pale tissue which should be red from circulating blood.

I was successful in contacting a senior scientist at Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science. I contacted Tadasu K. Yamada Department of Zoology, Division of Vertebrates. Degree: Doctor of Medical Science.

He is a medical doctor.

I emailed this doctor and asked him questions about my concerns.

Here is his answer in full:

“Re: Dolphin stranding 10 April 2015
Yamada Tadasu K. ( )


To: Paul Langley Cc:

Dear Paul,

Thank you very much for this inquiry. It is surprising to know that somewhere is a news saying the lung lesion of Peoponocephala is related to radiation.

What we said to the media are:
1. We could not specify the cause of death.
2. They do not have substantial stomach contents.
3. Basically the organs looked healthy, except for the lungs that were unusually pale even almost white.

Our guess is:
This pale lung problem might have some relation to hypothermia or shock, that might have induced ischemia following cardiac failure.”

We have checked several finless porpoises stranded much closer to the Fukushima plants after the disaster, the radioactive level were all far below significant.

The melon-headed whales in question are just visitors (or passers by), it is beyond imagination that they were affected by the radioactivity.

Could you, by any chance, spread our almost official opinion I mentioned above?

Best regards,

Tadasu” end quote.

The words in quotes are Tadasu’s. The following words are mine, not his, (be clear, I am putting my proposal below.)

Yamada Tadasu K. has written a paper on one previous event, which may or may not be related to the dolphin stranding of 10 – 11 April 2015. It is:

“The Veterinary Record, February 9, 2008 FIG 1: Gas-filled cavities in a lymph node from a stranded Blainville’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) Unusual cetacean mortality event in Taiwan, possibly linked to naval activities” . You can download it and read it for free here:

Here is a photograph of the damaged tissue, in which gas invaded the tissue, and caused the deaths on that earlier occassion:

One has to remember that Japan continues to suffer undersea and land based earthquakes and for the relevant period (the period prior to 10 – 11 April 2015 there were a number of undersea quakes off the coast of Japan:

The case for sudden hydraulic shock in my opinion, and it is only my opinion, not the opinion of any scientist anywhere (its my blog and I’m responsible for what I say.) compelling.

Are there any other instances of hydraulic or pressure shock to dolphins sufficient to cause profound pain, beaching and death or even outright death?


The above photographs show damage to dolphin tissue as reported by Blue Voice at Please go to this source to see the full article and description of the photographs. As I understand it, Blue Voice clearly believes the white tissue damage is due to the effects of mining exploration at sea. During this exploration, rather large explosions are detonated at sea. The pressure waves cause damage and the death of the dolphins off Peru. In Peru it is known that explosions at sea killed hundreds of dolphins. They washed up on the beach.

In Japan there were a number of quakes at sea which could have caused similar damage to dolphin lungs, causing them, in their agony, to beach in Japan.

How much cesium 137 is normally (since March 2011) in the tissue of Japan’s dolphins, the ones who live their lives in Japanese waters and who do not migrate? Is the cesium 137 dose in these native Japanese dolphins sufficient to kill them? And, are these creatures safe for humans to eat?


Quote: “Recently, Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project purchased several packages of striped dolphin meat to test for mercury, PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) and radiation levels (radioactive cesium-137). The dolphins were captured in a Taiji drive hunt this season and slaughtered in the Cove. Tests revealed the presence of all three contaminants in the dolphin meat with mercury testing higher than the Japanese government’s recommended level of 0.4 parts per million.”

“The full results were as follows:

Cesium-137: 3.37Bq/kg. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 100Bq/kg.
PCBs: 0.12ppm. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.5ppm.
Total Mercury: 1.4ppm. This is higher than the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.4ppm.

The mercury level is of concern. Even low-level mercury poisoning can have a substantial impact on human health because it bio-accumulates in the body over time.

Dr. Luca Giovagnoli DVM, told the Dolphin Project that heavy metals such as mercury are particularly insidious because they, “bind with cell structures in which they settle, hindering the pursuit of certain vital functions.” Furthermore, he said, mercury is hard to expel from the body because it is only, “minimally excreted via salivation, perspiration or nursing.”

The Dolphin Project also remains concerned over the Fukushima nuclear disaster. We will continue to test dolphin meat for cesium-137 and other contaminants throughout the season.

Ric O’Barry believes that finding levels higher than 100Bq/kg would shut down the supply and demand of dolphin meat in Japan. “The Japanese government considers anything over 100 Bequrel per kilogram unsafe,” said O’Barry, “We have not found anything close to 100 Bequrel per kilo yet, but we have more dolphin meat in the pipeline and will keep testing.”

This independent testing is vital to the health and welfare of the Japanese people — mercury is the second most toxic poison in the world.”

Please go to the source link and read the whole thing. Please don’t take my word for it.

As the Dolphin Project shows above, the dolphins native to Japan have trace amounts of cesium 137 in their tissue, and a heap of mercury. The cesium 137 in the native dolphin population is insufficient to cause death. The population of dolphins native to Japan are doing fine. The mob captured, killed and measured during the annual event at Taiji were fit and well and healthy and survived the stress of capture until being killed for their meat. And this allowed the flesh to be tested. And yep, the cesium 137 was low. In fact, in the current era, dolphin and whale watching in Japan is a developing and growing industry. This would not be the case if they were dying from an LD 50 of cesium 137.

It must be remembered that the dolphins washed up on the beach in Ibaraki on 10 -11 April 2015 were migratory. Passing through. They are not normally present in Japanese waters and have not therefore built up the amount of Cesium 137 in their tissues as the Japanese dolphins have. They would have had less, in my opinion, in their tissues, than the ones tested by the Dolphin Project.

Look, I’m after the truth. I want knowledge. If I want belief, Ill go to church.

It is sad that the academics at Global Research did not even have the brains to reply to my email or answer my concerns.

Yes, there is cesium 137 in Japanese waters. No it didn’t kill the dolphins.

The scientists in Japan are still working on the situation and more information will eventually come.
The staff at the Museum studying this case are very busy, as staff at such institutions normally are. I strongly believe that scientists must be free to report what they see and know, and where further study of a case is needed, as in the dolphin stranding, the public should wait patiently until the work is properly finished.

Personally, for technical reasons of my own, which I have outlined above, I cannot see how a migrating pod of dolphins can be killed by cesium 137 in waters they are merely passing through, while dolphins resident normally in Japan are well and healthy and have cesium levels that are very low compared to the government maximum limit for cesium (for human consumption.)

No cause of death of the dolphins has yet been identified. The investigation and examination of the case is in the early stage. What is found will be reported by the scientists involved.

Paul Langley

Next: Variations in sardine populations in the California current.