Why Is Peru Illegally Slaughtering 15,000 Dolphins Each Year?

  • by: Kevin Mathews
  • recipient: Vice Minister Javier Fernando Miguel Atkins Lerggios

A new report by the Animal Welfare Institute finds that over 100,000 cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and small whales) are intentionally killed each year by fishers so they can be chopped up for bait. This inhumane practice is most common off the coast of Peru, where fishers catch up to an estimated 15,000 dolphins.

These dolphins aren't just being killed, they're being brutalized. Once they're pulled on to the boat, they're stabbed with harpoons and knives and left to slowly die in agony.

Hunting dolphins is already against the law in Peru, but the lack of enforcement isn't preventing the fishing industry from carrying on with killing dolphins and the like anyway. Though there have been some initial efforts to fix this problem, it's going to take a serious commitment from Peru to scare this thriving black market out of existence. 

That's why we're calling on Vice Minister Javier Fernando Miguel Atkins Lerggios, the man in charge of fisheries and aquaculture in Peru, to commit himself to aggressively enforce the law. 

If undercover investigations by conservation groups can discover how prevelant this practice is, surely some government stings can catch the fishing industry in the act, too. 

Protect the dolphins, Peru! 

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