[MARMAM] Illegal killing of small cetaceans in Brazil.

Aline da Silva Cerqueira Holt alinemarine at lycos.co.uk
Wed Aug 15 04:48:29 PDT 2007

Dear Colleagues,


Many of you might have already heard or read about the criminal killing of
over 80 porpoises in the northern coast of Brazil a month ago (CBS News
It is believed that this type of activity happens more often than it is
witnessed by researchers, authorities and the press.


According to a recent note published by the Brazilian press, the Federal
Police of Brazil has identified the boats and respective crew involved in
the crime. The responsibles for the slaughter will be judged in accordance
with the country’s environmental law and each one of them can spend one year
in jail per each porpoise that was killed. Although we must be relieved to
know that justice seems to be on its way, we also must bear in mind that the
lethargy and bureaucracy that involve the Brazilian politics can prevent
justice from happening.


Some Brazilian researchers and an environmental non-governmental
organisation decided to take legal action against the Brazilian Institute of
Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) for their lack of
concern and liability in dealing with this specific case.


It is very important to stress that intentional abuse and killing of
cetaceans is a federal crime in Brazil since 1987. What happened in the
northern coast of Brazil one month ago (and was broadcasted nationwide by
the most popular news TV channel of Brazil and can be watched though the web
link: http://www.seashepherd.org/news/media_070719_1.html) is totally
different from accidental cetacean by-catch. The people involved in the
killing aimed to kill porpoises and were aware of the implications of the


Now, the most important thing to do is to stop this kind of thing from
happening again. There are many marine mammal researchers engaged in
environmental education programs along the Brazilian coast determined to
decrease the mortality of cetaceans from the interaction with fisheries.
However, due to the criminal nature of the episode in question, I believe
that in order to tackle the problem it will be necessary to go beyond
ecological awareness strategies. It will be necessary to secure the
implementation of the existing laws and to do a close monitoring of fishery
activities in areas where these animals are threatened by unscrupulous


Hence it is fundamental that the Brazilian government and authorities employ
pertinent measures to combat this type of crime everywhere in the coast. I
believe this will only happen if they are pressurised to do so. Because
protecting cetaceans does not get economic wins for the Brazilian economy,
there is a big chance it might not be in the government priority list to
save them.  However, if the international public opinion moves the current
scenario, there will be a chance the government and authorities will try to
do something for the good of nature.


The reason why I come here today is to ask for your help. I would be very
grateful if researchers and leaders of this mailing list could take some of
their time to write letters to the Brazilian government and authorities
expressing their concerns and requesting effective measures to fight
existing threats to cetaceans in the Brazilian waters. Their contact details
are at the bottom of this message.


I started a petition that now has a bit more than 1000 signatures (link to
petition:  <http://www.PetitionOnline.com/tucuxi07>
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/tucuxi07). I understand that petitions are not
a scientific way of attempting to resolve environmental problems. On the
other hand, if thousands of people from everywhere in the globe sign an
appeal document requesting to protect wild animals (that should be already
legally protected), then I do think this document has a chance to endorse a
campaign to stop the illegal killing of cetaceans in Brazil.


Last, but not least, I want to apologise for the long text. I also would
like to invite you to express your opinion or make comments about the issues
raised in this message. 


Thank you very much for your attention and time. I do appreciate it.


All the best, 





Aline S. C. Holt
Marine Biologist, M.Sc.

Ph.D. Student


School of the Environment
University of Brighton
Cockcroft Building
Lewes Road


Tel: +44 (0) 1273 64 2284
E-mail:  <mailto:Aline.Holt at brighton.ac.uk> Aline.Holt at brighton.ac.uk


Useful contact details of Brazilian politicians and authorities:


President of Republic

President Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

E-mail:  <mailto:pr at planalto.gov.br> pr at planalto.gov.br


Palácio do Planalto
4º andar - sala 37
Praça dos Três Poderes
Brasília - DF
CEP: 70150-901



Presidency Office Chief: Mr. Fernando de Lima Santos

E-mail:  <mailto:%20fernandols at planalto.gov.br> fernandols at planalto.gov.br 


IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources)

President of IBAMA: Mr. Bazileu Alves Margarido Neto

E-mail: E-mail: bazileu.margarido at ibama.gov.br 


Setor de Clubes Esportivo Norte - SCEN, 

Trecho 2, Ed. Sede do IBAMA, Bloco "A", 

Brasília - DF

CEP 70818-900



IBAMA's Regional Office in Amapá

Director: Mr. Edivan Barros de Andrade

E-mail: edivan.andrade at ibama.gov.br




CEP: 68.950-000




Ministry of the Environment

Minister Mrs. Marina Silva

E-mail: marina.silva at mma.gov.br


Esplanada dos Misnitérios, Bloco B

Brasília - DF

CEP 70068-900



Brazilian Chamber of Deputies

President: Dep. Arlindo Chinaglia 

E-mail: dep.arlindochinaglia at camara.gov.br


Gabinete 706 - Anexo IV

Câmara dos Deputados

Praça dos Três Poderes

Brasília - DF 

CEP: 70160-900




-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20070815/6f9ba139/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list