Fishermen slaughter dolphins in front of shocked witnesses
Fishermen in Peru brutally slaughtered at least ten dolphins in front of shocked eyewitnesses and helpless policemen.
Playa Pulpos, Lima, Peru:
8th February 2003
During the last four days local fishermen have encircled
harpooned and brutally slaughtered at least 10 dolphins just in
front of the shoreline of Pulpos beach resort. Shocked beach
tourists and alarmed policemen could only watch the fishermen
killing the dolphins. Attempts to stop them by using a jet-ski
failed. The Peruvian NGO Mundo Azul, citizens of the beach
resort and the police of Lurin are going to set up a common beach
control in order to trap the illegal dolphin killers.
On Thursday last week owners of a beach house at the famous beach resort Pulpos, about 30 kilometres south of Peru´s capital Lima arrived at the beach in order to find the head and decapitated body of a dolphin between the rocks whose spine was tied with strings. The next day, Mrs. Maria Serena, owner of the beach house, couldn’t
believe her eyes when she and her family had to
witness two fishermen boats encircling two dolphins,
harpooning, killing and butchering them in less than
50 metres of distance from their house. "It was barbaric,"
remembered Mrs. Serena, "they harpooned the dolphins,
one man jumped in the water and they lifted the dolphins
aboard, then they clubbed them to death. It took them at
least five minutes to kill the animals who suffered horribly.
I was in despair and didn’t know what to do. We stood on
the beach, screaming and yelling and they didn’t even
bother about us."
Not knowing where to phone the son of Mrs. Serena drove to the next police station in Lurin and the alarmed officers immediately returned with him to the beach. When they arrived the boats already had been too far away from the beach in order to identify them. Capitan Juan Torres Diaz, chief of investigation of crimes of the police station of Lurin resumed: " We don’t have boats, not even a binocular. We stood on the beach switching on our sirens and yelling at the boats and couldn’t do anything."
Looking for help the police of Lurin informed on
Friday night the Peruvian NGO Mundo Azul,
which has recently started a public campaign against
illegal dolphin hunting in Peru. On Saturday morning
representatives of Mundo Azul and the police of Lurin
inspected together the crime scene, taking pictures of
the remains of the dolphins and interviewing eyewitnesses.
Short after the representatives of Mundo Azul and the police had left Mrs. Serena witnessed another case of dolphin slaughter. This time three boats, the same two that had been involved in the dolphin hunt the day before and a third and bigger one encircled a whole dolphin school using nets and forming a triangle. They killed at least seven dolphins. "This time the fishermen obviously behaved more cautious and maintained a much bigger distance, so that we couldn’t identify them," said Mrs. Serena. The police returned immediately to the beach. They alarmed a private person from the beach "Punta Hermosa", being situated about three kilometres south of Playa Pulpos, who tried to approach the fishing boats using his jet-ski, but couldn’t reach them.
Mundo Azul, citizens of the beach resort and the
police of Luring are going to set up during next week
a private vigilance group. One person offered the use
of his speed boat and will be in permanent alert from
now on maintaining his cellular phone activated 24
hours a day. Mundo Azul will try to find small funds
in order to equip the police station with binoculars.
Volunteers of Mundo Azul will spend as much time as
possible in the beach house of Mrs. Serena, being
equipped with binoculars and a video camera.
Mundo Azul will organize several meetings with local
people being interested in participating in order to
capacitate and organize them.
"Even though this is another tragic case of brutal and illegal dolphin slaughter in Peru," resumes Stefan Austermühle, Executive Director of Mundo Azul, " I am very happy about two things: First of all this case proofs to be a first direct success of our awareness campaign, as people themselves become involved and police officials become active, cooperating with Mundo Azul in order to actively stop dolphin killing in Peru and secondly this case shows that there is a much bigger and well organized black market than we thought." - Mundo Azul had recently published press releases estimating the death of around 1000 dolphins per year due to illegal dolphin hunting in Peru.
The awareness campaign of Mundo Azul already counts with smaller start up funds from several private sponsors and small cetacean conservation groups around the world. "But what is now urgently needed," says Austermühle, "is more international support for our campaign in order to finance beach patrols, capacitating seminars and media work, as well as much needed equipment. Having a zodiac, for example, we could easily access beaches, interrupt and identify fishermen being involved in the illegal dolphin killing." Mundo Azul also announced the realization of an undercover-investigation of fish markets and restaurants thought to be places where dolphin meat is sold.
For more information on the case and dolphin killing in Peru, as well as pictures, please contact:
Las Acacias 185 A
Lima 18 - Miraflores