At a recent Japan festival, amongst the various tourist brochures I got, one was for Wakayama prefecture, which included a page for Taiji. If I visited there, I'd have to decide whether or not to eat what the town is best known for outside of Japan: dolphin meat.
What health effects, if any, should I be concerned about? Anti dolphin-hunting activists claim that dolphin meat is unsafe because of high levels of mercury, and the Japanese government recommends that children and pregnant women should avoid eating it on a regular basis. Is mercury (or any other toxins) of concern for one-off consumption of dolphin meat, so long as I don't regularly eat food high in mercury?
Is the meat available year round, or only during the hunting season? I am currently anticipating visiting Japan in late May, early June, but Wikipedia states that the hunt occurs from September to April.
Finally, is a foreigner ordering dolphin meat at an izakaya likely to be treated with suspicion of being an anti dolphin-hunting activist?