The recent reports of dolphin slaughter by small-scale fishermen off the coast of Peru sparked international outrage. In response to the scandal, Peruvian authorities have promised action. Yesterday, they announced that at least one initiative bore fruit when officials were able to find and confiscate illegal dolphin meat in a restaurant in Callao.
The restaurant in question, El Colorado, was in possession of 1.5 kilograms of dried dolphin meat. According to Peru21, the contraband meat was discovered during a one of a series regulatory operations in ports, markets, and seafood restaurants that have been instituted since the news of dolphin hunting broke.
Though the illegal dolphin hunting reported by undercover journalist Jim Wickens was largely practiced to procure dolphin meat bait for shark fishing, dolphins are also killed for consumption by humans in various parts of the world, including Peru, the Faroe Islands, and Japan. Reports indicate that the sharks killed by Peruvian fishermen are sent to market in Asia, where shark fins are used in culinary delicacies.
Dolphin meat is high in mercury and therefore poses a potential threat to humans when consumed.
Killing a dolphin is illegal under Peruvian law. According to Peru21, the operators of the restaurant will be sanctioned for the possession of dolphin meat. 1.5 kilograms of dried dolphin meat was found at restaurant “El Colorado.”