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 market 
for dolphin meat in Peru", says Stefan Austermühle, biologist 
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 mounted 
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 Stefan 
Austermühle: "the truth is, it is not." Reports and photographic 
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," explains A 
ustermühle, "that the killing of dolphins is still seen as a 
peccadillo by port authorities, fishermen and clients of this 
black market." 

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 ( 

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 insufficient to 
efficiently control the Peruvian coast, we believe it is crucial to 
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 
public schools." 


For further information, photographs or in order to support 
Mundo Azuls campaign, please contact directly: 

Stefan Austermühle 
Executive Director of Mundo Azul 
Web site: 

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