Target: Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar
Goal: Prohibit the sale of the piracatinga fish in Colombia in order to protect the unique Amazon River dolphin.
Hunting and killing Amazon River dolphins, a unique freshwater species, has been made illegal in Brazil. Still, thousands of dolphins in the Amazon are viciously trapped and killed each year. Many fishermen capture Amazon River dolphins to use their carcasses as bait for catching piracatinga catfish. This cruel method often involves the use of harpoons, clubs, or spears to kill the dolphin. In other cases, dolphins become entrapped in other fishing nets where they are left to die. Their carcasses are then used to attract the scavenger species piracatinga. In one instance, about 70 percent of dolphin carcasses found in the Japura River were killed and used for bait. Still, the demand for the piracatinga catfish in Colombia continues to rise, creating a opportunity for greedy fishermen to profit.
Brazil has made great efforts to end the despicable treatment of these unique creatures by implementing a temporary ban on the sale of piracatinga catfish. This action will help to decrease demand for the catfish and relieve the stress on the Amazon River dolphin.
However, this type of cruel, illegal hunting continues in other parts of the Amazon. Colombia has the highest demand for the piracatinga and consequently has high rates of dolphin deaths. Therefore, we must ask Colombian officials to follow Brazil’s example by removing piracatinga from the market. By doing so, it will lower the chances of Amazon River dolphin killings and allow them to rebuild their population. We must also ask Colombian officials to prioritize enforcing protection for these dolphins. This unique, freshwater dolphin species contributes to the wonderful biodiversity of the Amazon and deserves to be protected.
Dear Minister Holguín Cuéllar,
The Amazon River dolphin is a unique dolphin species that has been targeted by fishermen for many years. The dolphin is captured and killed so that its carcass can be used as bait to catch the popular piracatinga catfish. Fishermen profit from the piracatinga catfish but are destroying the population of the Amazon River dolphin. These creatures deserve more government protection to ensure they remain a part of the unique, diverse ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest.
With the demand for the piracatinga catfish consistent, there is no hope to end the inhumane killings of the Amazon River dolphin. Therefore, I encourage you to help end the sale of piracatinga catfish in Colombia. By doing so, it would alleviate the pressure for fishermen to kill these dolphins. I also ask for you to implement more government protection for the dolphin.
This dolphin is a unique species that is quickly fading away because of careless human activity. Please help the fate of the Amazon River dolphin and help to protect it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: César via Wikimedia Commons