Generally speaking, because of the artificial settings, research in captivity provides little knowledge that can be applied to the protection and management of these species at sea. In fact, this kind of research can even be misleading. Many published studies on captive animals focus on training techniques and improvement of husbandry practices, which have no relevance to dolphins living in the wild. For example: captive studies on dolphin diseases have failed to predict outbreaks of viruses in wild populations that may often cause mass mortality.
Currently, there are only 80 Southern Resident orca left in the wild. The best available science has shown that the health and productivity of this population is linked to the abundance of their preferred prey, Chinook salmon. Historically, the Columbia River Basin (including the Snake River) produced 10-16 million salmon a year. Now, Southern Resident orca traveling to the mouth of the Columbia River to feed, find far fewer fish.
Public Health Disaster. Economic Impacts
What prevails is a well organized camouflage. The public health disaster in Japan, the contamination of water, agricultural land and the food chain, not to mention the broader economic and social implications, have neither been fully acknowledged nor addressed in a comprehensive and meaningful fashion by the Japanese authorities.
Japan as a nation state has been destroyed. Its landmass and territorial waters are contaminated. Part of the country is uninhabitable. High levels of radiation have been recorded in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which has a population of 39 million (2010) (more than the population of Canada, circa 34 million (2010)) There are indications that the food chain is contaminated throughout Japan:
Radioactive cesium exceeding the legal limit was detected in tea made in a factory in Shizuoka City, more than 300 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the most famous tea producing areas in Japan.
A tea distributor in Tokyo reported to the prefecture that it detected high levels of radioactivity in the tea shipped from the city. The prefecture ordered the factory to refrain from shipping out the product. After the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, radioactive contamination of tea leaves and processed tea has been found over a wide area around Tokyo. (See 5 More Companies Detect Radiation In Their Tea Above Legal Limits Over 300 KM From Fukushima, June 15, 2011)