Over 100,000 dolphins, small whales and porpoises (small cetaceans) are slaughtered globally in hunts each year – many to be used as fishing bait in shark, tuna and other fisheries, St Vincent is among nations accused of slaughtering these sea creatures.
That’s according to a new report, Small Cetaceans, Big Problems, by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Pro Wildlife and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).
The report said up to several hundred small cetaceans are hunted each year in the U.S. (Alaska), Cameroon, Colombia, Faroe Islands, Guinea Bissau, Kiribati, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Vietnam and Tanzania.
The report identifies the cruelty associated with many hunts due to the use of rudimentary methods including harpoons, knives, machetes, nets, spears and dynamite. “Death does not come quickly or painlessly,” according to Nicola Hodgins, who leads small cetacean work at WDC.
Small cetaceans also have very high levels of pollutants in their meat and blubber, meaning they are inappropriate and unsafe for human consumption, the report states.
In compiling the report, the authors analyzed more than 300 field studies, local media reports and eyewitness accounts.
The report’s findings come ahead of the September 10 meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Florianopolis, Brazil. In the report, the groups call on the Commission, as well as other international conventions and governments, to strengthen protections for small cetaceans.