Can you eat dolphin meat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can you eat dolphin meat?”. We will also talk about what dolphin meat looks and tastes like, why some people eat dolphin meat, and if it is safe to eat dolphin meat.

Can you eat dolphin meat?

No, dolphin meat should not be eaten even though a few communities and countries still consume dolphin meat. Countries like Japan, Peru, and the indigenous people of Islands of  St. Vincent and The Faroe Islands hunt and eat dolphins as there is no law prohibiting the killing and eating of dolphins.

Mercury levels are really high in dolphin meat since dolphins are on the top of the ecosystem and eat a lot of pollutants and smaller fish high in mercury which accounts for the large mercury content in dolphin meat. Mercury is the second most toxic poison in the world and is abundant in dolphin meat.

Is it safe to eat dolphin meat? 

Dolphin meat is highly contaminated by mercury and the levels of mercury are high in their meat. Mercury is the second most toxic poison in the world and eating dolphin meat is equal to consuming lots of mercury.

Mercury causes damage to eyesight, hearing and motor skills by attacking the brain and the central nervous system. It can also interfere with the memory and thought process leading to symptoms of dementia.

It is not safe to eat dolphin meat even in fewer quantities because you will be ingesting toxic mercury with the meat. Mercury is not good for pregnant women too as it can lead to prenatal death of the fetus or cause long-term brain damage to the baby.

It has been found that people from a village in Japan that consumes dolphin meat have a 50% more mortality rate than the people who do not eat dolphin meat.

What does dolphin meat taste and look like? 

Dolphin meat looks similar to that of tuna, dark red in color which can be so dark that it looks almost black. The meat is thick and tough which is why it is cut into strips and marinated for 24 hours before cooking to tenderize the meat.

The cooked dolphin meat tastes more like beef liver and less fishy. The dolphin meat is called ‘chancho marino’ in Peru which is translated as ‘sea pork’. In Japan, dolphin meat is eaten raw as sashimi and also eaten cooked by cooking in a miso soup or deep fried.

Eating raw dolphin meat is not appetizing as it is really tough so they marinate and tenderize the meat after cutting it into thin strips.

Why do people eat dolphin meat? 

Dolphins were hunted and eaten in the past until people did not know about the mercury content and the adverse effects mercury has on human health. People still hunt and eat dolphins even though it is banned in numerous countries and people know about the mercury content. Here we talk about the reason why people still want to eat dolphins.


People from some communities and cultures still hunt and eat dolphins as part of their tradition as their ancestors used to do the same. It is a way for them to honor their ancestors and stay close to them by continuing and following the ancient tradition.


Some people living near the water source that is abundant with dolphins still hunt and eat dolphins because of necessity as they do not have any other food source to feed their families. They live in an area where they cannot grow any crops and vegetables due to the adverse climate and the quality of the soil.

Cheap source of protein 

Some communities are living under the poverty line and cannot afford any other source of protein as protein is a vital nutrient that is needed to stay fit and healthy. As a last resort, they end up eating dolphin meat as the dolphins are readily available for them to hunt.

Sign of prestige

Some people from rich backgrounds also tend to be attracted to eating dolphin meat as a sign of prestige. In countries that do not allow dolphin killing and eating, dolphin meat is looked upon as a delicacy and exotic meat since it is rare.

People eating dolphin meat in those countries are looked upon as a wealthier class of people because rare dolphin meat is expensive.


In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Can you eat dolphin meat?”. We also talked about what dolphin meat looks and tastes like, why some people eat dolphin meat, and if it is safe to eat dolphin meat.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


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