Since 1997, dolphin killings have been illegal in Peru, yet a new month-long undercover investigation conducted by Mundo Azul, Blue Voice, and Ecostorm agency reveals that dolphins are still viciously slaughtered on country waters.
Peru’s largely unknown dolphin slaughter is considered the largest in the world. According to the three organizations involved in the investigation, up to 15,000 dolphins are killed every year for bait by long-line shark fishing fleets.
Unfortunately, the dolphins (called “sea-pigs” by Peruvian fishermen) are prime bait material because sharks are immediately attracted to the meat and it’s 100 percent free of cost, reports the Daily Mail.
“I understand that to hunt the dolphin is illegal. But for me, it’s a necessity, I do it to keep my bills down. I can minimize my costs, because the bait for shark is very expensive. The majority of boats that fish shark carry the spear-gun with the spear ready to use,” said a Peruvian fishing boat captain to investigative journalist, Jim Wickens of the Daily Mail.
While dolphin slaughter might be free money-wise, it is very costly to the fragile ocean ecosystem where many dolphin species are already endangered. Certainly, these fishermen are not differentiating between which species is endangered and which is not. And even if they did, such cruelty should not be permitted under any terms.
The new undercover investigation provides a heaping dose of reality and dispels long-held rumors about the slaughter. Investigators were sickened by what they saw on two Peruvian fishing boats they accompanied.
“We videotaped from the boat and in the water and what we saw was unimaginably horrific,” said Stefan Austermuhle, executive director of Mundo Azul, who spent 24 days on one shark-fishing boat off the Peruvian coast via The Guardian.
“I just went numb looking at the pitiful dolphin being battered with a club. All I could do was continue recording the event, as well as the butchering of the sharks in the hope that making the world aware of this tragedy can somehow bring an end to it,” said Austermuhle.
Dolphins are not the only ones exposed to such extreme cruelty in Peru’s waters. The investigation revealed that sharks are also brutally slaughtered.
According to The Guardian, hunted sharks have their noses cut off while they are still conscious. Wires are then aggressively pushed through their brains and down their spinal cords to immobilize them.
“The Peruvian fishermen endanger the survival of the dolphin species while pushing sharks towards a population collapse,” said Austermuhle.
Awareness must be spread about this egregious cruelty. Do your part by sharing this story with your friends and family and on your social media pages.
Read a full account of journalist, Jim Wickens’ experience on a Peruvian fishing boat here and watch undercover footage of the illegal dolphin killing below. (Viewer discretion is advised.)
Image source: Daily Mail