WHALES ON THE NET
GUINEA BASSAU, 26 January, 2004 [WID News] - A report of an upcoming huge live dolphin capture has sent representatives of the association "Oceanium-Narou Heuleuk" located in Dakar, Senegal to the region.
The president of the association, Haidar, has indicated he will try to stop or film the capture.
Indications are that the capture has not begun, but if it occurs, it will take place in the Bissagos archipelago.
A massive, irregular, live-capture of Tursiops truncatus such as this has characteristics similar to the recent Solomon Islands take.
The caller, who wished to remain anonymous, who is a long-time insider and has first hand knowledge of the situation warned that high numbers of T.truncatus would be targeted and it was likely that high collateral mortality ("massacre" was used) due to a lack of infrastructure.
The caller also stated that the financier of this take is the same person who was involved in the mass live dolphin capture in the Solomon Islands.
The caller also believed, from other sources and other incidents, that an increase in irregular live-captures of aquatic mammals was developing in West Africa.
The following data was supplied. [The spelling may not be error-free. The names were repeated.]
Financier/agent: Ana Melino, Rare Import/Export, 1256 Russeau des Anges nord, St Roch JOK 3HO, Quebec, Canada [key person of the transaction, reportedly Canadian citizen]
Local wildlife exporting company: Mr. Schuhmann, River Zoo Farm, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (German national; indeed i.a. advertises sales of West African manatees on Internet)
Guinea-Bissau CITES director - (unnamed Guinea Bissau citizen). Reportedly has direct stake in River Zoo Farm, and would provide CITES export documents for all RZF wild animal exports, irregularly.
Scientific data to back-up take (population ID, abundance estimates) : is not available.
Dolphin live-capture specialists contracted :(1) George Verison (USA citizen); (2) Matt Lowe (USA) ; (3) George Kamei [spelling unsure] Nagasaka (Japan national)
Destination market of T. truncatus: China and [unspecified] South American countries.
Number of bottlenose dolphins to be taken: 'large numbers' . Caller mentioned that China market would absorb 80-100 dolphins.
Mode of transport out Bissau: chartered planes
Caller suggested that if sufficient publicity is given, Mrs. Ana Melino may back-off and abort transaction.
Caller supplied information to:K. Van Waerebeek, Ph.D.
Centro Peruano de Estudios Cetologicos CEPEC
Peruvian Centre for Cetacean Research
MUSEO DE LOS DELFINES
Pucusana, Lima 20, Peru