MIAMI – Two environmental organizations in Peru and Florida launched a joint campaign to halt the slaughter of dolphins off the Peruvian coastline, a practice that results in the deaths of between 5,000 and 15,000 of these marine mammals every year, an online media outlet said.
BlueVoice, a non-governmental organization based in Florida, has joined forces with Peru’s Mundo Azul in a campaign to end the dolphin hunts off the coasts of the South American nation, the online daily Latino Post said.
According to environmentalists’ estimates, each year between 5,000 and 15,000 dolphins die in Peruvian waters due to the indiscriminate fishing and selling of their flesh for human consumption or as bait for catching sharks.
“Killing dolphins is illegal under Peruvian law, but the law is not strictly enforced and fishermen kill dolphins with total impunity,” said Stefan Austermuhle, president of Mundo Azul.
During a 24-day investigation that included making videos of the hunts and interviewing fishermen, what Austermuhle saw “was unimaginable, horrible.”
The activist filmed scenes showing dolphins being caught and beaten with clubs by fishermen. “All I could do was film what was happening in hopes the world might become aware of this tragedy and might, in some way, put an end to it,” the environmentalist said.
The NGOs also reported discovering a black market for dolphin meat, something Peru scarcely ever saw before.
BlueVoice and Mundo Azul have offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those who catch and kill dolphins.