Five years ago, I photographed a story for National Geographic Magazine on Amazon River Dolphins ("Botos" in Portuguese). It was a thrilling project, a chance to tell the story of a remarkable animal that most people had never heard of, living in the flooded forests of the Amazon. At the time, these dolphins were abundant,largely left alone due to a long-held attitude about them as animals of myth and enchantment. Now, all that has changed.
For several years now, these peaceful animals have been increasingly hunted for their meat, but not for human consumption: they are killed and dismembered to serve as bait for a huge, commercially valuable catfish known as the Piracatinga. This is inexcusable, and many people in Brazil have been working to get the government to intervene. They have recently done so, declaring a five-year moratorium on the fishery. But as it is, the ban will not take effect until 2015, allowing thousands of dolphins to be killed before it does.
Having helped bring these dolphins to the attention of the world in the pages of National Geographic, I feel a personal responsibility to support efforts to protect them. I have donated pictures to support this effort and money to fuel the campaign. I hope you will join me.
Learn more about the issue here: www.theredalert.org (Click on the Language button at the top of their page)
And while you're at it, please sign the petition to stop the slaughter on Change.org. There is a link at the bottom of the RedAlert page. (Again, choose your language at the bottom of the Change.org page)
Thank you for making your voice heard and doing whatever you can.
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