Last month, we published how a whale was rescued off the shore of Zorritos in Peru. That was one of the few good news stories that one could write about whales. Unfortunately, other marine animals like dolphins are hunted and killed in the most gruesome methods all across the world. In Peru alone, between 5,000 to 15,000 dolphins are killed every year as shark bait. These beautiful and intelligent animals are hunted and killed in methods that can easily churn anyone’s stomach.
Peru’s fishing industry is responsible for the deaths of thousands of dolphins. They are first stabbed with a harpoon or a knife. Then, they are left to die a slow and agonizing death. Once they die, they are used to lure sharks which are hunted too, so that they can be served as haute cuisine across the world. Peru banned dolphin hunting in 1966. While shark meat maybe legal in some places, they are at risk of being endangered too. So you might want to eat fish that are classified as sustainable and safe to eat.
However, bans and legislations go only a certain distance and there are always loopholes or the authorities look the other way. Illegal dolphin hunting plagues Peru’s coastline and there needs to be political will to quell this marine injustice. Recently, a petition was launched to get Vice Minister Javier Fernando Miguel Atkins Lerggios to enforce the existing law strictly. After all, the laws have been made and dolphin fishing is banned. What we really need is an awareness about what is happening to the dolphins, and how that can be stopped with adequate law enforcement.
Peruvian authorities are increasingly worried about how their country is perceived abroad. If enough signatures reach the political leaders, there is hope that they will enforce the existing ban on dolphin hunting and probably help save other marine life as well. Whales, dolphins and sharks are all hunted and killed illegally and strong political will is required to enforce the existing bans.