Target: Peruvian President Ollanta Humala
Goal: Stop fishermen in Peru from slaughtering dolphins for shark bait.
Dolphins are being slaughtered en masse in Peruvian waters. Despite a ban on dolphin fishing since 1996, fishermen continue to kill thousands of dolphins every year with little to no consequence. Although some of the dolphin meat may be sold in local markets, the majority of the catch supplies fishermen with shark bait. Shark fishing has become more and more prevalent, partially due to the demand for shark fins in Asian countries. We must act now to stop the slaughtering of dolphins and sharks.
Dolphins are intelligent, social creatures that suffer greatly at the hands of indiscriminate fishermen. Sharks have sustained dramatic population declines in the wake of the shark fin soup boom and are struggling to recover. Both sharks and dolphins are slow to reproduce and hold important places in ecosystems as apex predators. Killing large numbers of dolphins and sharks can permanently decimate their populations while causing serious damage to ocean ecosystems. Additionally, dolphin meat is considered by many to be dangerous for human consumption due to its high mercury levels.
The president of Peru must begin to actively enforce the ban on dolphin fishing. Banning harpoons, which are only used for dolphin fishing, while also introducing stricter fines would serve well to discourage fishermen from engaging in this illegal act. It is also important to take steps to ban shark fishing because, if not, shark populations may never recover. Sign the petition below to urge President Humala to protect dolphins, sharks, and ocean ecosystems from the damages of unchecked killing.
Dear President Humala,
I am deeply concerned by the slaughter of thousands of dolphins each year in Peruvian waters, despite an apparent ban on dolphin fishing. Dolphins, which are highly intelligent and social creatures, are being slaughtered predominantly to serve as bait for shark fishing. Not only is this terrible treatment of dolphins, shark populations are in serious peril as well.
I understand that shark and even dolphin meat has become an important source of food and income in Peru. However, these unsustainable fishing methods only serve to further deplete the fisheries that people rely on. Dolphins and sharks are apex predators and slow to reproduce, meaning the damage done by killing large numbers of them can be almost irreversible. Additionally, dolphins are not only unethical to consume but also dangerous to eat due to the meat’s high levels of mercury.
I urge you to protect ocean ecosystems and the health of your people by enforcing the ban that is already in place on dolphin fishing. Banning the possession of harpoons and introducing hefty fines for lawbreakers would go very far to discourage dolphin fishing. Additionally, it is imperative you take steps to ban shark fishing as well. The global market for shark fins is decimating shark populations and, if we don’t act now, sharks may never be able to recover.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: NOAA