Target: Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, María Ángela Holguín Cuellar
Goal: Illegalize the trade of fish species that are responsible for the death of dolphins.
Amazon River dolphins are hunted illegally to be used as bait for catching Piracatinga catfish, a fish that is primarily exported to Colombia where it is sold deceitfully as another species. During a hunt, dolphins are collected in nets and captured by fishermen who then tie them to submerged trees by their flukes before returning to kill them. These creatures are under threat since they are hunted and killed in a cruel manner, with the population being reported to fall at 10 percent yearly.
These animals are not only rare, but also endangered—they are the last of the five species of river dolphins that have become extinct. These dolphins have lived in the Amazon River for centuries and do not have enemies in the natural environment. Research claims that they have a brain capacity that is 40 percent larger than that of a human, and yet they are still being cruelly eliminated.
The Brazilian government recently illegalized the sale of Piracatinga catfish due to its link to the torturing of dolphins, and the ban is expected to extend for the next few years. In fact, this government has been working with its fishing industry to develop different methods of catching Piracatinga as well as creating a task force for the protection of dolphins.
Since Brazil has played its role, it is now Colombia’s turn. Colombian officials need to stop the sale of Piracatinga and enforce laws that will protect these dolphins because the Colombian consumers are indirectly promoting the killing of these river creatures without their knowledge.
Even if Colombian officials implemented these measures, they would still not be enough in stopping the illegal sale of the fish. The Colombian government has acknowledged the people’s call for action and has shown interest to help find a lasting solution. The move is a significant step in ensuring dolphins are protected, but the government of Colombia still needs to make stronger commitments to achieve real change. Sign this petition to stop the killing of Amazon River dolphins.
Dear Minister Holguín,
The Amazon River dolphin is under threat and is being cruelly hunted and killed. The killings are happening because the meat from the dolphin is used as bait for capturing Piracatinga catfish, which is mainly exported to Colombia and sold deceitfully.
The Brazilian government has taken an important step in ending the illegal killings of these dolphins, and it is now time for Colombia to adopt a similar stand. I understand that Colombia has shown some interest in finding a reliable solution, but I still urge your country to make a stronger commitment to protecting these dolphins. Lend your support by banning the sale of Piracatinga catfish in Colombia to help end the cruelty against the Amazon River dolphin.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dennis Otten