Between 15 thousand and 20 thousand of these cetaceans die every year entangled in fishing gear.
The Peruvian sea is one of the most biodiverse and productive in the world. However, our country also has a sad record: to be one of the nations with the highest rate of incidental capture of cetaceans, according to the International Whaling Commission (CBI).
It happens that many dolphins and porpoises in our sea – smaller, dolphin-like, are accidentally entangled in fishing gear. It is estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 of these marine mammals die each year from this cause.
“The CBI has taken the case of Peru as a priority. The country has the responsibility to adopt urgent conservation measures to prevent the extinction of these species. There are solutions to the problem, so we believe that working hand in hand with fishermen and the government, we can ensure the survival of the dolphins and porpoises that visit the country, “says Aimée Leslie, director of the Marine Program of the Global Fund for Nature (WWF Peru).
Among the solutions proposed by the organization, are the devices known as pingers that generate acoustic modulations and keep small cetaceans away from the boats? Unlike other marine creatures, dolphins often approach boats, which exposes them to being damaged by accident.
Another option is the temporary closure of certain fishing areas that are known to be frequented by cetaceans to give them an opportunity to reproduce and so that their population can recover.
Currently, WWF works with the anchovy industry to promote the installation of pingers on their boats.
“We reiterate the urgency to look for innovative solutions to drastically reduce the mortality of cetaceans, working together with the fishing communities. We hope to help attract more political attention to this key issue for the maintenance of the planet’s biodiversity. We have no time to waste, “says Margaret Kinnaird, leader of the Wildlife Practice of WWF International.