In the morning of the 17th of February an unknown person offered fishermen in a little town in northern Peru 3000 dollars for the fins of a whale shark. "Cut off the fins and dump the rest in the ocean because it is an endangered species and I don't want trouble," this person said.
Unfortunately, the fishermen took the money. They caught a whale shark and cut off its fins. They dumped the beautiful animal back in the sea, doomed to a slow, painful death. Help us keep this from happening again!
Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet, growing as long as 20 meters. The gentle filter feeders live off of plankton and small fish. The species is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. They are easy prey for unethical fishermen, as they swim slowly, often right at the surface.
Killing whale sharks is not common in Peru yet, but we have to act fast before a market develops. The presence of whale sharks in Peru was only recently discovered and the species is not yet protected by law as it is in many other parts of the world. Therefore, this horrible act of whale shark finning is not punishable under the law.
Please sign my petition to the Peruvian government, urging them to protect whale sharks now!
Here is a link to the story covered in the news
Subject: Protection of whale sharks in Peru
In the morning of February the 17th 2016 a whale shark was killed for its fins near Acapulco, Tumbes, and the persons involved were offered 3000 US dollars. Althouh this might have been an isolated incident, as the killing or finning of whale sharks is not common in Peru yet, action is needed before a market develops. Whale sharks are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List and are mentioned in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In many countries the species is therefore legally protected. However, the protection of whale sharks is not yet adequately covered by the Peruvian laws. That is why I respectfully urge you to modify the law so that whale sharks will have full legal protection in Peru and that anybody who harms or kills a whale shark, or sells or buys body parts can be punished and face criminal charges. I am asking you this also on behalf of over 100,000 people from around the world, as well as several NGO´s, who are concerned about the issue and supported the online petition ´Stop whale shark finning in Peru now´. I sincerely hope that the worldwide attention and strong support for adequate protection, together with the vulnerable status of these magnificent animals (which are the most valuable while being alive) will lead you to make important steps in a better protection of whale sharks in Peru. Please show the world that you care about these gentle giants and that you try to do everything to protect them!
Thank you for your time and serious consideration.