Target: President of Peru, Ollanta Humala
Goal: End the use of dolphins for bait in hunting shark
Off Peru’s Pacific coast, thousands of dolphins meet a gruesome fate as they are hunted, slaughtered and used as bait to capture sharks or sold on the black market for human consumption. Despite being outlawed by Peruvian legislature in 1996, dolphin killings have increased exponentially and many animal rights groups say that lackluster law enforcement and apathy are to blame.
More than 10,000 dolphins are said to be slaughtered every year in Peruvian waters for profit. Dolphin hunting is a huge market with even bigger financial incentives. It’s estimated that for each dolphin caught, a fisherman can expect to get nearly $600.00 for its meat. What’s worse is that these dolphins are only being used to capture sharks, which carry a more lucrative provocation. The demand for shark fin soup, a delicacy in the Far East, is responsible for the death of an estimated 15,000 sharks a year. The price of a single, ten-inch shark fin on the black market can fetch $580.00.
In a recent investigation by a London-based Ecologist Film Unit, a fishing vessel was occupied by filmmakers and activists Stefan Austermuhle and Jim Wickens, who offered fuel money to fisherman in exchange for board. What the crew captured was endless, horrific acts of violence against dolphins and sharks which included harpooning, skinning, battery (using a club or hammer to beat a ‘feisty’ dolphin or shark) and skewering — the act of pushing a wire through the brain and spinal cord of a shark to immobilize them for slaughter.
Although the Peruvian government has promised to investigate the matter, the fact that fisherman have been overriding the 1996 outlaw for nearly two decades is a sign that little is expected to change anytime soon. By signing this petition you’ll shame the Peruvian government for its lack of concern for marine life and help save the lives of thousands of dolphins and sharks.
Dear President Ollanta Humala,
For nearly two decades fisherman in Peru have engaged in the inhumane capture and slaughter of dolphins for bait when hunting sharks. Nearly 10,000 dolphins and 15,000 sharks are killed in a single year due to profitable incentives by black market meat dealers. This practice must end now. Dolphin and shark meat is proven to be unfit for human consumption because of the high amount of mercury. It has also been revealed that the increasing levels of diabetes in Peru is linked to its consumption of these meats.
Disrupting the ecosystem for gain is shameful and there are plenty of other non-invasive and less disturbing ways to fish. The acts carried out by the fisherman of your country are unforgivable and I urge you to enforce the maximum punishment against anyone found guilty of the slaughter and torture of vital marine life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons