KILL DOLPHINS FOR MEAT
Major awareness campaign launched
Though illegal, the killing of dolphins for human consumption
is still a widespread practice in Peru.
Preliminary field reports the Peruvian NGO Mundo Azul
(Blue World) estimate that illegal killing of dolphins for
human consumption takes at least 1000 dolphins per year
from the seas along the Peruvian coast.
"There are very clear indications for a flourishing black
for dolphin meat in Peru", says Stefan Austermühle,
and Executive Director of Mundo Azul. He explains: "In order
to stop illegal killing we initiated an awareness campaign that
informs people about the ongoing problem of dolphin killing,
which explains why dolphins have to be protected and gives
advice how to act, if being a witness of illegal activities."
The chasing and killing of dolphins as well as the sale of dolphin
meat and its consumption was prohibited by Peruvian law in
1995. The law was enacted as a result of the dramatic increase
of dolphin kills during the 80s and early 90s in Peru, that
in an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 dolphins being killed each year.
The law and a strong awareness campaign of Peruvian NGO´s
resulted in the complete stop of sales of dolphin meat in
supermarkets and restaurants.
"For years the problem was thought to be solved", says
Austermühle: "the truth is, it is not." Reports and
material collected by Mundo Azul from places all along the
3.000 km long desert coast show clearly that the illegal killing
of dolphins is not an occasional event, but still a widespread
In one beach in the northern limits of the coastal department
of Lambayeque members of Mundo Azul found more than 20
dolphins killed for human consumption in one single day. On
another beach south of the harbor town Chimbote within one
week three dolphins being cut into pieces had been washed
on the shore.
"The problem is not restricted to isolated beaches which are
difficult to control. Last September we had the case of a
dolphin found on the beach of the harbor town of Pucusana,
just 5 meters away from the fishing dock and 50 meters away
from the office of the port authorities. This shows,"
ustermühle, "that the killing of dolphins is still seen as a
peccadillo by port authorities, fishermen and clients of this
Mundo Azul has also collected reports of dolphin meat being
offered in restaurants and at high-society-parties in Lima.
In order to fight the illegal dolphin killing Mundo Azul has
started a national awareness campaign for the conservation of
dolphins. Thanks to the financial support by the Swiss
"Working Group for the Conservation of Cetaceans" (ASMS),
and the mayor of Pucusana, Mundo Azul was able to distribute
information material to every household in Pucusana, using the
opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with the local fishermen.
The NGO will continue to distribute the material to public
institutions and fishermen associations throughout the country.
The direct face-to-face-approach of the campaign is
accompanied by a strong media campaign and a set of detailed
information in English and Spanish on the laws protecting
dolphins in Peru. This material also can be found on the web-site
of Mundo Azul (www.peru.com/mundoazul).
Visitors of the site will find clear advice how and where to
file official complains, if one witnesses illegal action, how to
support the campaign and what to do, if a dolphin was found
still alive on the beach.
"In a situation where public and private funds are
efficiently control the Peruvian coast, we believe it is crucial
enable the average citizen to support the conservation of
dolphins and to file official complains, if one detects illegal
killing of dolphins or the sale or consumption of dolphin meat,"
explains Austermühle and concludes: "So far our campaign
was a full success and we are now hoping to find additional
funding to continue the campaign throughout the year and add
further activities like environmental education programs in
PLEASE SUPPORT THE WORK OF MUNDO AZUL
For further information, photographs or in order to support
Mundo Azuls campaign, please contact directly:
Executive Director of Mundo Azul
Web site: www.peru.com/mundoazul
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