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Written by Jo Mattock Friday, 18 October 2013 09:27
New images and footage of dolphin hunts in Peru have been released by a conservation group to raise awareness of dolphin and shark fishing.
As many as 15,000 dolphins a year are caught and butchered by fishermen in the country. Their carcasses are used as shark bait in the fishing industry, and for human consumption.
The dolphins are harpooned and clubbed to death, despite targeting them being illegal. Enforcing the law is difficult on the high seas.
The fishermen also fish for blue and mako sharks, both for their meat and for their fins, which are exported mainly to Hong Kong and China, where they are an ingredient in shark fin soup.
Until now, little was known about the fishing for dolphins off Peru. Much attention has been paid to the dolphin hunts in the town of Taiji in Japan, but the market for dolphin meat is actually much wider.
The conservation organisations BlueVoice and Mundo Azul hope their whistle-blowing expedition aboard a Peruvian fishing boat leads to crackdowns in illegal fishing for cetaceans.