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More than 3000 dolphins per year are killed in Peru.
Illegal fishermen have been caught.

Mundo Azul Press Release

10th April 2003 - Lima, Peru

New investigations of the Peruvian NGO

Mundo Azul and the Ecological Police revealed that the number of dolphins being illegally caught for human consumption in Peru is much higher than formerly estimated. Several dealers of dolphin meat as well as one fishing boat transporting a dead dolphin were captured during the investigation.

During the last week the peruvian NGO for the conservation of marine and coastal habitats and species "Mundo Azul" (Blue World) realized together with a representative of the Ecological Police of Peru an investigation along the Peruvian coast between the harbor city of Chimbote and the Peninsula of Bayovar in northern Peru. Observations made during this trip helped to determine three main places in this coastal sector were illegal dolphin capture occurs: The fishermen town of San José, the harbour of Salaverry and the industrial harbor of Chimbote.

San José: The investigation revealed that the fishermen of San José, being situated north of the city of Chiclayo in the department of Lambayeque, are responsible for an estimated 500 dolphins to be killed for human consumption per year and an estimated not utilized bycatch of several hundreds of dolphins as well as for the illegal slaughter of marine turtles. More than 30 dolphins have been found on a beach north of the town: 5 of them had been slaughtered for human consumption, 11 were found with cut off flukes in order to not to damage the nets they had been caught in. The remaining dolphins are estimated to also be bycatch. The team also caught a group of fishermen that had slaughtered a marine turtle.

Salaverry: The team found the fresh organs of a cetacean specimen on the beach of Salaverry and located shortly after the dealer of the dolphin meat in the market of Salaverry. Together with local policemen 5 kilograms of dolphin meat were seized. Based on the information of local informants Mundo Azul, the local police and representatives of the coastguard of Salaverry organized a second operation during the night of the same day and were able to capture a the crew of a fishing boat that transported a dead common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in order to sell it in Salaverry. A second fishing boat received a warning and managed to dump two dolphins shortly before the operation and this way managed to destroy the evidence. Based on information of local informants it is estimated that up to 750 dolphins and porpoises per year are illegally sold on the market of Salaverry.

Chimbote: On the beach near the artisanal fishing dock a cut off head of a dolphin was found. An operation of Mundo Azul, the local representatives of the Ecological Police and inspectors of the fisheries ministry managed to capture two illegal dolphin dealers in the market "El progresso" and seized a total of 37 kilogram of cetacean meat. Local sources informed us that dolphin meat is freely sold on several markets in the harbour and the dolphins are sold by artisanal fishermen in Chimbote and from other fishing villages. Last year in December representatives of Mundo Azul had found three dead dolphins on the beach "Las Salinas" 30 kilometres south of
Chimbote. Based on the new information the number of dolphins being illegally marketed in this harbor is estimated at 750 per year.

The capture of dolphins and porpoises and the sale of their meat is prohibited since 1996 by Peruvian law. The illegal dealers and fishermen caught during this trip will face maximum punishment of up to three years in jail.

"Based on the new findings the number of dolphins being caught for illegal consumption in Peru must be estimated at 3000 or more animals per year," says Stefan Austermühle, Executive Director of Mundo Azul.

Mundo Azul is a Peruvian Non-profit NGO for the conservation of marine and coastal habitats and species, and for the sustainable coastal development. Mundo Azul cooperates closely with the Peruvian government in order to fight illegal slaughter of threatened species. The investigation of Mundo Azul was sponsored by British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Cetacean Society International, The Humane Society of the US and the World Society for the Protection of Animals and received additional financial support by: The European Cetacean Bycatch Campaign, Reseau Cetaces, Campaign Whale, Mrs. Gwen McKenna (Canada) and Mr. Robert Goodland (US).

Additional information as well as photographs documenting the activities described in this press release 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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