Dolphins off the Coast of Paracas / Peru
The area near the famous Paracas Penninsula in south Peru is a hotspot for biodiversity. The region already boasts two nature reservations with marine sections. Still, the area has its share of environmental problems. The coastal waters are besieged with unfiltered waste water and poisons, and the beaches are littered with plastic rubbish. Dynamite fishing is an illegal yet common form of fishing that brings in quick money but destroys important fish habitats.
The Peruvian Marine Protection Organization ACOREMA runs a marine protection center in the city of Pisco. Here they provide education regarding the protection of dolphins and sustainable fishing methods in the waters around Paracas. ACOREMA is carrying out a very unusual project: a long-term monitoring study of two dolphin pods, The health of these highly-developed mammals provides information about the ecological state of the ocean. The monitoring helps to better understand the interrelationships in the oceans and provides early detection of any changes occurring there.
ACOREMA needed immediate help after a severe earthquake struck the area in 2007. The Munich-based Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delfine (GRD e.V.) was able to coordinate the help from Germany with the support of the Hand in Hand-Fund. In the proceeding years, additional funds were used for various projects including a campaign against dynamite fishing and an environmental education project in over 60 schools in the regions. ACOREMA’s next goal is to try and tackle the problem of plastic waste in the ocean.