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Illegal dealer of dolphin meat caught in the act in Lima, Peru

24th May 2003

Mundo Azul

Lima, Peru: An ongoing undercover investigation of the Peruvian NGO Mundo Azul and the Department for Ecological Crimes of the Peruvian National Police led to the capture of another illegal dolphin dealer in Lima.

Yesterday, Friday, 23rd May 2003 members of the Peruvian NGO Mundo Azul for the conservation of marine, coastal and aquatic ecosystems and species and police officers of the Department for Ecological Crimes were able to capture in the act another illegal dealer of dolphin meat in the market "Caceta" in Lima.

The man has been identified by undercover investigators of Mundo Azul and was observed for more than three weeks openly selling dolphin meat in the market. On Friday morning a team of Mundo Azul members and policemen were able to finally catch the dealer in the act when selling dolphin meat in the market. A total of 27 kilograms of cetacean meat were seized and afterwards handed over to a public kitchen for poor people. The man later on admitted to be very well informed that selling cetacean meat was an ecological crime. He said that he obtained the meat in the fishing terminal of "Ventanillas", Lima, where it was sold under the table to known clients.

He also admitted to regular sell cetacean meat as there was no control and he did not expect to get caught.

The capture of dolphins and porpoises, as well as the sale and consumption of their meat is prohibited since 1996 by Peruvian law. Mundo Azul is co-operating with the National Police of Peru, which lacks of basic infrastructure, transport and man power, in order to identify fishermen that illegally hunt dolphins and dealers that illegally sell dolphin meat and catch them. In the last two month our investigation has led to the capture of four dealers in different coastal cities of Peru, the capture of a fishing boat attempting to land a dead common dolphin in the fishing port of Salaverry and the seizure of a total of 64 kilograms of cetacean meat. The illegal dealers and fishermen caught during our ongoing effort to rid the Peruvian coast of illegal dolphin killing will face maximum punishment of up to three years in jail.

Based on the findings during our investigation Mundo Azul estimates the number of dolphins being caught for illegal consumption in Peru at 3000 or more animals per year.

Additional information as well as photographs and video material documenting the activities and the latest capture 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
Web-site: (Spanish language version) (English language version)

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