Founded in 1995, ProDelphinus is a not-for-profit Peruvian organization based in Lima.
ProDelphinus is committed to the conservation of threatened and endangered marine fauna. Beginning in 1995, ProDelphinus, together with organizations such as the Peruvian Center for Cetacean Research CEPEC, participated actively in a campaign to legally ban the dolphins take and consumption in Peru.
Currently, ProDelphinus conducts projects on research and conservation of threatened and endangered marine species, such as sea turtles, marine otters, cetaceans, seabirds and sharks. These species are either permanent residents to Peruvian waters or just temporary visitors as they continue along their migration routes. Studies of the interactions between these species and Peruvian fisheries and the ways to prevent it, form a major component of ProDelphinus’ current research.Mortality rate in each of the life stages, but especially during the aquatic stages, have been identified as a critical aspect of sea turtle research by the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Sea Turtles (IUCN, 1995). In Peru, together with the lack of education of fishing and coastal communities, the main threats to turtles are fisheries mortality (bycatch), and habitat degradation and pollution. In 2001, ProDelphinus started a systematic assessment of turtle bycatch along the Peruvian coast.
Our satellite tracking project is the first telemetry study of loggerhead turtles in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. The presence of loggerheads in this region was only recently verified. “Cabezona” (big head) or “Amarilla” (yellow) are the local names for this species. The goal of this study is to improve our understanding of loggerhead habitat use, migration and foraging patterns in the southeastern Pacific. So far we have released 15 loggerhead turtles with satellite transmitters.
The goal of our educational program is to reach out to the next generation of fishermen in the ports with the highest levels of sea turtle mortality and human consumption of turtles. We aim to provide them with information and the tools they need to make informed decisions regarding sea turtle conservation. Currently, ProDelphinus continues to monitoring several ports along the Peruvian coast in collaboration with Oregon Zoo, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Idea Wild, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nature and Culture International and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation through The Ocean Foundation.
Early in 2010, with support of the Duke University Marine Laboratory through their minigrants program, ProDelphinus also started a project researching river dolphins interactions with Amazonian artisanal fisheries.