Target: The Brazilian Institute of Environmental and Renewable Resources (IBAMA)
Goal: Prevent The Amazon River’s Pink Dolphins from being slaughtered and endangered by fishermen.
Environmental law enforcement along the Amazon River is short-handed when policing the vast amount of determined fishermen that catch their profits there every day. As a result, fishermen openly hunt the Amazon’s endangered pink dolphin, cutting off its fin to use as bait for reeling in other fish. Fishermen generally have little opposition killing the dolphin, as the animal poses a threat to business, serving both as a nuisance as well as fishing competition.
The pink dolphin’s fin serves is the most lucrative baiting material, which is why fishermen insist on slaughtering the dolphin. The New York Times quotes one fishermen stating, “I have harpooned some just to be mean,” and then describes how the fishermen lifted “a harpoon to demonstrate how he would spear dolphins at close range.”
In addition to the fierce battle between dolphin and fishermen, pollution, hydroelectric dams, and the dangerous propellers on fishing boats are all part of a list of dangers that contribute to the pink dolphin’s demise. But, a lack of compassion from fishermen and locals alike has a deep impact on the dolphins’ rate of endangerment. Also, regulators are desperately swimming upstream to prevent such frequent instances of illegal fishing. According to the New York Times, IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental protection agency, only has 1,300 regulators for the entire country. But, the Amazon region alone is larger than India, providing a stark perspective on how little resources IBAMA has to monitor the river.
The pink dolphins of the Amazon are yet another casualty of competitive and merciless overfishing. Brazilians are killing an animal that is part of their country’s ancient myth and folklore, but this kind animal so ingrained in Brazil’s culture and environment will soon face extinction. Please sign below to demand adequate policing of illegal fishing tactics throughout the Amazon River.
The pink dolphin has been a long-time sufferer of crude fishing tactics in the Amazon River. While fishermen kill the dolphin to increase their profits, what may have a deeper impact on this issue is the fishermen’s and locals’ outright apathy, and sometimes disdain toward the dolphin and its survival.
I urge IBAMA to increase its police force, since its approximately 1,300 environmental regulators are no match for the number of fishermen illegally slaughtering wildlife. I also urge IBAMA to expand its regulation tactics, especially in areas where locals have little to no concern and education regarding species endangerment and conservation efforts.
The pink dolphin is just one of the many species suffering from overfishing, pollution, and general slaughter. Please do not let an animal so kind, and so embedded in Brazilian folklore, continue to be speared, disregarded, and endangered.
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