The Chernobyl disaster created a large poisoned involuntary park. Similarly, mercury pollution (as well as other persistent organic pollutants) may perversely help wildlife conservation by reducing hunting (but damaging the health and livelihoods of those who depend upon the hunting of animals they have little to do with poisoning). The New York Times writes about how Mercury Taint Divides a Japanese Whaling Town:
For years, Western activists have traveled to this remote port to protest the annual dolphin drive. And for years, local fishermen have ignored them, herding the animals into a small cove and slashing them until the tide flows red. But now, a new menace may succeed where the activists have failed: mercury.
…Dolphin meat is a local delicacy, served raw as sashimi or boiled with soy sauce. People here are used to the international scorn that accompanies the dolphin hunt and have closed ranks in the face of rising outrage — until now.Last June, laboratory tests showed high levels of mercury in dolphin and pilot whale, a small whale that resembles a dolphin, that were caught and sold here. Schools stopped serving pilot whale meat for lunch, and some local markets removed it as well as dolphin from their shelves.