More than 80,000 young whales were killed last year. This is evident from a new report released by NGOs Pro Wildlife and WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) on Tuesday.
The report provides an overview of targeted fishing for small whales, dolphins and porpoises. But the report warns that the numbers are still seriously underestimated. There are no international agreements specific to small cetaceans, and no international governmental agency concerned with these animals. Therefore, hunting of marine mammals is not well documented.
Consumption of dolphin meat has also increased, especially in areas where it is not part of the traditional diet. For example, the economic crisis in Venezuela has led to an increase in dolphin meat consumption. On the islands of Tristão and Guinea, fishermen have recently begun eating dolphin meat.
The report highlights the widespread decline in numbers of small cetaceans, which includes all toothed whales – with the exception of the sperm whale – as well as dolphins and porpoises. Because of this decline, hunters now have to travel farther in search of their prey.
A moratorium imposed by the International Whaling Commission since 1996 has helped significantly reduce commercial whaling. But large-scale exploration of small marine mammals has remained largely unregulated internationally.
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