What would you like to search for?

Our News

Artisanal fishermen of northern Peru committed to humpback whales

  • Starting in July, more than 5 thousand humpback whales will arrive to the coasts of northern Peru, kicking off the whale watching season for these species.
  • Artisanal fishermen from three communities in northern Peru (Zorritos, La Cruz and Acapulco), are joining the work to protect humpback whales, participating in the pilot implementation of acoustic technological devices to mitigate the incidental capture of marine cetaceans.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI), fishing production contributes 0.4% to the national GDP, being key to the growth of our economy. Therefore, the important role played by the men and women dedicated to this activity deserves to be celebrated, which is why they are commemorated every June 29, in honor of St. Peter, patron saint of fishermen. 

This date coincides with the beginning of a special season in the coasts of northern Peru: the arrival of humpback whales, which make a long journey from Antarctica. Every year, approximately 5 thousand whales visit the Peruvian sea to begin their mating and calving process, a spectacle of nature that attracts many tourists.

Like other marine cetaceans, such as dolphins, whales are threatened mainly by bycatch and collisions with large vessels. Bycatch occurs when the species become entangled in fishing gear, generating a serious conflict with artisanal fishermen. As a result, dolphins and whales can be injured and even killed. In addition, these interactions impact the work of fishermen, who lose their main work tool (nets), and put their lives at risk because the boats may suffer accidents.

For this reason, WWF Peru together with the Peruvian Sea Institute (IMARPE, for its acronym in Spanish) seek to mitigate this conflict through the installation of pingers, an acoustic alert system that emits a sound so that the species can hear it underwater and evade the nets, which work for both dolphins and whales.

"Betting on this type of technology is essential today, not only for the conservation of species, but also for the social benefit they provide to artisanal fishermen," said Shaleyla Kelez, Wildlife Program Leader for WWF Peru.

"The commitment of fishermen is fundamental for the success of these pilots, therefore, we invite them to continue implementing good practices that guarantee the sustainability of marine resources for all. Likewise, we call on the government to join in and bet on technologies, such as pingers, so that together we can scale these projects to a national level and mitigate the incidental capture of marine species," added Shaleyla.


Contact us for more information: 

Shaleyla Kelez - Wildlife Program Specialist WWF Peru

Farid Mondragón - Wildlife Program Assistant WWF Peru


Share This!

Help us spread the message