The killing of around 20,000 dolphins and porpoises every year in Taiji, Japan has quite rightly made the news recently, while the killing of around 800 dolphins every year in the Faroe Islands has also been reported. However Japan and the Faroe Islands are not the only countries where dolphins are being deliberately killed.
Around 10,000 to 15,000 dolphins per year are being killed in Peruvian waters. Even though the killing of dolphins was outlawed in Peru in 1997, Peruvian fishermen have continued to kill dolphins and sell their bodies for meat in the fish markets.
The numbers being killed has risen dramatically and the reason is shocking. The dolphins are being speared and slaughtered to be used as cheap bait to catch endangered sharks.
Filmmaker and conservationist Hardy Jones and his group Bluevoice and the environmental organisation Mundo Azul found that the growing Asian market for shark fins is leading to many more dolphins being killed and used as bait to catch sharks; whose numbers are already seriously depleted. Both adult and infant dolphins are killed – some being butchered whilst still alive as they are cut up and their carcasses thrown overboard.
The fishermen then set off to catch sharks, which once caught will also have their fins cut off whilst they are alive and their heads sliced off whilst fully conscious. If the sharks are pregnant the pups are killed onboard, rather than thrown back into the sea, thus ensuring the demise of this already endangered animal.
Warning: This video contains scenes of extreme violence
Featured image source: www.onegreenplanet.org