Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Campaign Launched to End Slaughter of Dolphins in Peru

An international effort to end the brutal slaughter of dolphins in Peru has been initiated by a coalition of marine conservation organizations headed up by and Peruvian-based Mundo Azul. The campaign is aimed at fishing practices that rely on killing dolphins to use as shark bait.

Video of the slaughter of dolphins and the catch of undersized sharks off the coast of Peru was obtained by the Peruvian NGO Mundo Azul in cooperation with Florida-based BlueVoice. Based on calculations of the number of fishing boats and undercover testimony documenting the numbers of dolphins taken it is estimated that between five and fifteen thousand dolphins are killed yearly.

Stefan Austermuhle, president of Mundo Azul, noted "It is illegal to kill dolphins under Peruvian law but there is no enforcement so fishermen kill dolphins with impunity."

BlueVoice and Mundo Azul have conducted undercover surveys of the sale of dolphin meat and found several locations where illegal sales were taking place. But the number was few relative to years past, perhaps indicating the sale of dolphin meat is being driven underground. There will be continuous surveys of fish markets over the coming months ana network of concerned citizens has been formed to report violations of dolphin protection laws to Mundo Azul's office in Lima.

In addition a bounty of $500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone harming dolphins. "We want the fishermen to know they cannot carry on their dolphin killing and meat sales without exposure", said Hardy Jones, executive director of BlueVoice.

Jones presented to Stefan Austermuhle The Dolphin Defender Award in recognition of his work documenting the killing of dolphins in the shark fishery. Austermuhle spent 24 days aboard a small Peruvian fishing boat to

Footage from his expedition will be cut into a documentary film analogous to The Academy Award winning film The Cove. "It is my hope that our film will have a happy ending in which Peru rededicates itself to the protection of dolphins and its marine resources," said Jones who has produced more than 70 documentaries for television.

BlueVoice and Mundo Azul have called on the Peruvian government to both enforce existing laws and enact legislation banning harpoons on fishing boats. "Harpoons are used solely to kill dolphins and banning them would save the lives of thousands of dolphins," said Austermuhle.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

BlueVoice Presents Dolphin Defender Award

Dolphin Defender Award to be Presented to Stefan Austermuhle of Peruvian Marine Conservation Group Mundo Azul 

26 International Conservation Organizations Support the Award and Announce Campaign Against Slaughter of Dolphins in Peru

BlueVoice and Mundo Azul invite you to a press conference at which The Dolphin Defender Award will be presented to Stefan Austermuhle for his exemplary work in uncovering the slaughter of thousands of dolphins by Peruvian fishermen. The award is subscribed by 26 international member organizations of the Dolphin Defender Coalition which is composed of more than 1-million members.

The award will be presented by Hardy Jones, executive director of BlueVoice, a Florida-based marine conservation organization. Jones is known for his work of more than 35 years protecting dolphins. He is also an award winning filmmaker who appears in the Academy Award winning film The Cove - a film that caused worldwide outrage at the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. 

Jones is currently writing a book on his experiences in Peru with mass mortality events of dolphins and the consumption of dolphin meat for human consumption. He is in conversation with the producers of The Cove for a followup to that film covering the killing of dolphins in Peru for sharkbait. 

In addition, Jones and Austermuhle will announce results of recent undercover surveys of fish markets to document illegal sales of dolphin meat. In addition special measures to bring to justice violators of Peruvian laws protecting dolphins will be announced. 

The press conference will take place May 13 at 11:00am at the Hotel DoubleTree El Pardo, Calle Independencia 141, Miraflores,Lima, Peru.

Please confirm your attendance by emailing or by calling 946096753, Lima, Peru. Coffee will be served.

For interviews after the event with Hardy Jones and Stefan Austermuhle (May 14 and 15) please communicate to the same email and phone number. Hardy Jones may be contacted in the United States after May 18 at 904 471-4600.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Peru Says Red Tide Culprit in Dolphin Mortality Event

According to early reports, a toxic alga that destroys the organs of the animals is the cause of the mass mortality event that has killed hundreds of dolphins off the northern coast of Peru.

A preliminary report of the Instituto del Mar del Peru (Imarpe) indicates that dolphins < = tags_noticias> and other mammals, such as seals and porpoises that beached in recent weeks on the beaches of Piura and Lambayeque perished by degeneration in various internal organs. The cause is thought be toxic algae that is activated during the summer by various climatic factors and pollution.
The results of four tissue samples of dolphin and a penguin were subjected to pathological examination showed that organs such as the kidney, liver, brain and adrenal glands of the animals showed degenerative indications

The veteranarians of IMARPE, (Peru’s Institute of Marine Studies) determined that the spleens and lymphatic systems of the dead animals had beeen diminished demonstrating that they suffered a moderate decline in their immune systems.

The report indicates that the animals were possibly poisoned by eating a poisonous algae that occurs naturally in the sea, which is triggered by the change of summer temperature and pollution, among other factors.

IMARPE is still awaiting the full results of the analyzes performed on animals and phytoplankton to determine with certainty if the algae is causing the deaths.

Specialists from IMARPE of Piura, Lambayeque (Santa Rosa) and central Peruvian coast continue to record more dead animals in the northern beaches. It is estimated that in the last 10 days 100 dolphins, waterfowl, turtles and sea lions were found dead.
The Regional Manager of Production for Lambayeque officially has a record of 459 dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, turtles and birds that beached on the coast of Lambayeque and reserving Illescas, located south of Piura.

NB: Unusual mortality events are also occurring along the eastern coast of the United States, in the Indian River Lagoon of eastern Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Según primeros informes, un alga venenosa que destruye los órganos de los animales sería la causante de la varazón.
Un informe preliminar del
Instituto del Mar del Perú (Imarpe) <>  indica que los delfines <>  y otros mamíferos —como lobos y chanchos marinos— que vararon en las últimas semanas en las playas de Piura <>  y Lambayeque perecieron por cuadros degenerativos en diversos órganos internos. La causa sería un alga tóxica que se activa durante el verano por diversos factores climáticos y por la contaminación.
Los resultados de cuatro muestras de tejidos de delfines y de un pingüino que fueron sometidas a exámenes patológicos demuestran que órganos como el riñón, el hígado, el cerebro y las glándulas adrenales de los animales presentaron cuadros degenerativos.
Los veterinarios del Imarpe determinaron que los animales muertos tenían afectados el bazo y los ganglios, lo cual demuestra que sufrieron una moderada disminución en sus sistemas inmunológicos.
El informe del Imarpe indica que los animales posiblemente se intoxicaron al comer un alga venenosa que existe naturalmente en el mar, la cual se activa por el cambio de temperatura del verano y la contaminación, entre otros factores.
El Imarpe aún espera los resultados completos de los análisis practicados a los animales y al fitoplancton para determinar con total certeza si el alga es la causante de las muertes.
Especialistas del Imarpe de Piura, Lambayeque (Santa Rosa) y del centro del litoral peruano continúan registrando más animales muertos en las playas norteñas. Se calcula que en los últimos 10 días se hallaron 100 delfines, aves acuáticas, tortugas y lobos marinos muertos.
La Gerencia Regional de Desarrollo Productivo de Lambayeque oficialmente tiene un registro de 459 delfines, marsopas, lobos marinos, tortugas y aves que vararon en el litoral de Lambayeque y la reserva de Illescas, ubicada al sur de Piura.
Según esta fuente, personal del Imarpe de Lambayeque registró que el 79,9 % de los animales varados fueron cetáceos (delfines de diversas especies); 8,93%, lobos marinos; 7,65%, tortugas; y 3,46%, aves.
La mayor parte de las especies (97,26 %) fue localizada en estado avanzado de descomposición, de algunas incluso solo quedaba el esqueleto, por lo que fue imposible determinar las causas de la muerte.

Monday, February 3, 2014

500 Dolphins Dead On Peru Beaches

   At least 500 dolphins have been found dead on beaches in northern Peru. The cause of death is under investigation according to The Peruvian Sea Institute, or IMARPE, which sent a team of scientists to investigate why the dolphins beached themselves in the northern regions of Lambayeque and Piura.
   The mass mortality event (MME) is occurring at the same time of year as an MME in 2012. No cause was definitely established.
   The Peruvian team covered a 142-kilometer (88-mile) stretch of coast on Jan. 28-29, traveling from Pimentel, a resort city in Lambayeque, to the southern part of the reserve in Illescas, located in Piura. This is the same area of beach investigated by BlueVoice in February, 2012.
   “In five hours we found more than 600 dead dolphins,” said Hardy Jones, executive director of In the most recent case, experts found at least 400 beached dolphins. That discovery comes after about 100 other dolphins beached themselves in recent weeks.
   Fishermen told the IMARPE team that the dolphins were caught in nets regularly and drowned, according to the Lima newspaper El Comercio.  “During 2012 all the dolphins we documented were unmarked showing no signs of net entanglement,” according to Jones.
   The IMARPE scientists, confirmed that some young and adult dolphins died at sea and others arrived on the beaches near death.
   Tests conducted on tissue samples in Lima determined that the marine mammals were not poisoned by fishermen and did not die from the effects of extractive activities in the regions. The marine mammals may have died from ingesting toxic algae, the head of IMARPE’s Lambayeque office, Jaime de la Cruz, told El Comercio.
   Dolphins migrate to the Peruvian coast at this time of year to mate and feed, De la Cruz said.
A report on the 2012 MME ruled out some possible natural causes of the deaths, including lack of food, bacterial infections, viral infections and biotoxins. But there is no concensus that viruses were not involved. Some forms of morbilla virus can only be detected by highly sophisticated scientific apparatus. Morbilla is the leading suspect in the MME off the Atlantic coast of the USA.
   “The fact is that no one really knows why these dolphins are dieing. It is occurring at a time when large numbers of dolphins are dieing along both the Gulf coast and the Atlantic coasts of the United States,” said Jones. “These catastrophes must be investigated and the causes found. There may be profound implications for human as well as dolphin health,” according to Jones