Save dolphins

Why protect whales and dolphins?

Whales and dolphins are important flagship species for marine conservation. Being top-predators in the marine ecosystem whales and dolphins are playing an important role in maintaining ecosystem health by preying on fish that is old or sick, this way eliminating it from the system. But whales and dolphins are also especially vulnerable to negative human induced environmental change. If we manage to maintain healthy populations of whales and dolphins, it means we have done so by conserving their habitat and this way we did benefit at the same time hundreds or thousands of other species, which share these habitats with the whales and dolphins. Therefore the conservation of whales and dolphins is one of the main goals of Mundo Azul.

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See here what Stefan learned when sailing with dolphin killers

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Whales and dolphins of Peru

Read here about the natural history of more than 30 Peruvian species of whales and dolphins and the threats they are facing.

Bayovar 2003 j

lllegal dolphin killing for human consumption in Peru

In the early nineties dolphin killing for human consumption was a big problem in Peru, with up to 15,000 dolphins being killed every year. Some of the founders of Mundo Azul, especially Nina Pardo and Olga Rey had their first big environmental success when managing to convince the Peruvian president of enacting a law that prohibits de dolphin slaughter in 1996. However, weak law enforcement and lack of awareness in law enforcement entities still leads to the illegal killing of up to 3000 small cetaceans for human consumption in Peru every year. Mundo Azul works against illegal dolphin killing by implementing environmental education programs and media events. Our undercover investigators do identify illegal meat venders in public markets using hidden cameras. We are actively supporting police forces in the capture of illegal meat venders and we are offering training courses for policemen along the coast.

Dolphins jumping in breaking wave

Whale and dolphin watching: an opportunity for research and conservation

Mundo Azul promotes whale and dolphin watching as an opportunity for the economic development of coastal communities in Peru and as an alternative to illegal dolphin killings.

So far there is only very sketchy information about the ecology and distribution of whales and dolphins in Peru and there are virtually no adequate population estimates for any of these species. Without such information however solid conservation planning is impossible. Therefore we initiated a first large scale scientific research program on bottlenose dolphins, which we hope to expand in scale and intensity over time as well as including more species into our research effort.

In order to finance such an extensive and costly field research effort members of Mundo Azul created the Peruvian ecotourism operator Nature Expeditions. While guiding our tourists Mundo Azul researchers can collect important field data and at the same time provide a deep inside into cetacean ecology, conservation and research, making a whale watching tour or dolphin watching tour with Nature Expeditions not only being great fun but an impressive learning experience. You are benefitting marine conservation with any of Nature Expeditions ecotourism products, be it whale watching, dolphin watching, swimming or diving with sea lions, birding, or scuba diving.

Dolphins bowriding


Become a dolphin conservation volunteer

If you want to become deeply involved we are offering you the opportunity to take two weeks or a full month and become a dolphin conservation volunteer with Mundo Azul. Read more about our dolphin research programs.



First aid for stranded whales and dolphins

Stranded cetaceans need fast professional help in order to have a chance of survival. Peruvian police forces, coast guards and representatives of costal city administrations are generally not trained for such events. Even worst: many times local fishermen try using the meat of stranded specimen and kill them when stranded alive. They do so being unaware of health risks caused by the consumption of dolphin meat and ignoring existing national laws. This chapter therefore provides the wider public with advice on how to help stranded whales and dolphins and prevent health risks for helpers and bystanders.

In case there are stranded cetaceans it is important to be fast on site in order to protect both: people and cetaceans. If you find a stranded dolphin or whale please give us a call. If the location is in our reach we will be happy to come and assist. If the beach is too far away for us to come and help we can provide you with detailed information and instruction on what to do. Even if animals are already dead when found it is imperative that we be contacted quickly. Our specialists can then advise locals what to do in order to avoid health risks for humans and collect some basic data on the cause of the animals’ death. It is very important to collect physiological data on stranded animals and to determine the cause of death if possible, in order to get valuable information for our conservation programs.

Japanese whalers

Stop whaling!

On an international level whales are still at great danger caused by less than a handful of notorious whaling countries. Read more about whaling, international anti-whaling campaigns, Mundo Azul’s activities in Peru and learn about opportunities for you to help protect whales.



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If you have any questions, comments or want to support us, please contact us.


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Page author: Stefan Austermühle

Reviewed by: Lori Moak-Kean

Last updated: 2010.11.18

Related links: 

Whale and dolphin species of Peru

Go whale watching in Peru

Go dolphin watching in Peru

Whale watching as an alternative to dolphin killing

Be a dolphin conservation volunteer

Stop Peruvian dolphin slaughter

Mundo Azuls whale and dolphin research

First aid for stranded dolphins

Stop whaling

Stay in touch with Mundo Azul!

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Mundo Azul – Calle Francisco del Castillo 506 – Miraflores, Lima – email us at:


Be a conservation volunteer with Mundo Azul

Take part in dolphin and wildlife conservation projects, advocacy campaigns, environmental education and much more


Apply for an internship

If you want to dedicate a few months or more to meaningful conservation work in Peru, than this is the option for you.


Book the following trips with Mundo Azuls commercial partner Nature Expeditions in Peru in order to support our conservation work

coastal marine birding               coastal wetland birding                                                     Urban birding in Lima


Protected bird site                                           Coastal desert oasis

Pantanos de Villa                                               Lomas de Lachay                                              Birding in the Andes





Please also support the following conservation campaigns

Save the dolphins          Save the sharks