Dolphin slaughter in Peru Continues

Dolphin Slaughter in Peru Continues

Wednesday, September 17, 2003: Another dead dolphin near the countries capital proves that the Peruvian dolphin slaughter continues.

Yesterday the Peruvian environmental conservation organization Mundo Azul was informed by the owner of a beach house near Punta Hermosa about a dead dolphin being washed up on the beach being located about 30 kilometers south of the country's capital Lima. An inspection at the site by members of the NGO confirmed that the dead dusky dolphin had been slaughtered in order to illegally sell his meat for human consumption. "To find a such a dead dolphin is always a horrific experience," said Stefan Austermühle, Executive Director of Mundo Azul. "The head and the fluke of the animal are the only parts still being intact. They are connected to each other only by the spine. All the meat has been stripped of the body and the intestines have been fallen off while the body was floating in the sea. The deep cuts of a knife around the head and fluke doubtlessness prove that the animal hah been butchered."

The killing of dolphins for human consumption in Peru is prohibited by Supreme Decree since 1990 and by law since 1996. Nevertheless the dead dolphin is one of three thousand that are estimated by Mundo Azul to be illegally slaughtered each year along the Peruvian coast. Their meat is sold for little more than one dollar on local markets. The NGO has started in January this year a national campaign for the conservation of dolphins and porpoises in Peru. Together with the Peruvian coast guard and the National Police of Peru Mundo Azul so far was able to identify and arrest one fishing boat transporting a dead common dolphin to be illegally sold and six illegal meat dealers trying to sell a total of more than 100 kilograms of dolphin meat.

"The fight against the illegal killing of dolphins will take years of coordinated work between Mundo Azul and the police", estimates Austermühle. "We have to infiltrate the black market and destroy it. The Peruvian government does not have sufficient financial resources to do this, so it will be the responsibility of the conservation organizations on a national and international level to support this campaign, but so far none of the important environmental or humane organizations around the world is supporting our campaign with significant resources. It is time for environmentalists and friends of the dolphins around the world to take notice of this problem and react."

Additional information as well as photographs can be obtained from:

Stefan Austermühle
Executive Director of Mundo Azul
Manuel A Fuentes 884 C
Lima San Isidro
Phone: 0051-1-421 66 85
Portable phone: 0051-1-997 555 91


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