Is killing dolphins illegal?

Peru: Dolphin hunting harpoons and landing of shark fins prohibited

Good news for animal welfare: The government of the South American state of Peru has banned dolphin hunting with harpoons. In addition, it is forbidden to land shark fins on Peruvian territory in the future. Environmentalists welcome these steps.

The Peruvian government has recently banned the notorious harpoons used to kill dolphins to lure sharks. The widespread use of these harpoons had previously been covertly determined and documented by Stefan Austermühle, founder of the Peruvian organization Mundo Azul. The government also issued a ban on landing shark fins. This is to counteract the practice of sharks having their fins cut off at sea ("finning"). A marine protection coalition made up of OceanCare, BlueVoice and Mundo Azul welcomes these steps, but emphasizes that these regulations must be strictly enforced and violations must be severely punished. To this end, the environmental organization OceanCare will send a petition to the new President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Dolphins in Peru have been strictly protected for years

Dolphins and other small whales have been strictly protected in Peru since 1997. Illegally and hardly punished by the government, local fishermen harpoon mainly black dolphins far from the coast. The Peruvian Ministry of Production has now issued a decree prohibiting the possession and use of fishing tools that fall under the term "animal harpoon". Mundo Azul, with the support of OceanCare and BlueVoice, revealed in an undercover operation that these portable harpoons are being used on a large scale to kill dolphins to lure sharks to reach. Since dolphins can only be hunted with this deadly tool, it is an overdue measure against the killing of up to 15,000 dolphins per year and the immeasurable animal suffering associated with it. We congratulate the government of Peru on this step in the right direction, ”says Sigrid Lüber, President of OceanCare.

Smaller fishing boats illegally kill dolphins

The illegal killing of dolphins for shark bait is done by a fleet of at least 500 smaller longline fishing boats that operate along the entire Peruvian coast and even venture out into international waters. “In view of such a small tool as a harpoon point, which can easily be hidden in a trouser pocket, and a coastline of 2500 km, it will be important to convert the prohibition into ordinary law, to strictly implement, control and punish; otherwise the regulation remains a paper tiger - toothless and ineffective, ”adds Lüber. OceanCare will petition the President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, and also demand a long overdue, temporary moratorium on shark fishing.
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