In his new book, “The Voice of the Dolphins” ocean conservationist, filmmaker and Oceana supporter Hardy Jones reflects on his decades of work to protect dolphins and whales around the world, from killer whales in Norway’s fjords to sperm whales off the Galapagos Islands.
In addition to fighting dolphin hunting in Japan, Jones writes of his more recent work to stop one of the greatest threats to dolphins and humans: the rising level of contaminants, such as mercury and PCBs, in the ocean food chain.
The issue hit close to home with Jones when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003, a form of blood cancer associated with chemical toxins. Blood tests revealed that he had highly elevated levels of chemicals such as DDT and flame retardants in his blood and tissues—the same chemicals found in ever-greater concentrations throughout dolphin populations around the world.
The diagnosis spurred Jones to seek the sources of the pollutants in his own body and to document their impact on marine life and human beings. Jones has found dolphins with multiple myeloma, and his research reveals extreme levels of contamination in those dolphins tested.
Jones writes of the dolphins he has swum with, "I know when I'm with them that I'm relating to creatures as intelligent, social, and imbued with emotion as I am."
If dolphins are sentinels of the health of the oceans, he writes, then the warning they are sending is dire indeed. As Jones so clearly illustrates in “The Voice of the Dolphins,” the destruction of the oceans affects all of us, and his book is an inspiring call to action.
You can get your copy of “The Voice of the Dolphins” from the author’s eStore. It will also be available on Amazon.com next week, and in bookstores and on Kindle in the coming weeks.
Hardy Jones is the executive director of BlueVoice.org, a non-profit that raises awareness of the threats facing the world’s oceans. He has produced countless television films on wildlife, natural history, animal intelligence and the environment for National Geographic and PBS.