Peru: At least 50 sea lions intentionally poisoned

February 8, 2013

Peruvian authorities say at least 50 sea lions have been intentionally poisoned with fish laced with insecticides since mid-January off a single beach.

The Production Ministry said Thursday that lab testing confirmed the poisoning. The ministry oversees Peru's and its ocean institute IMARPE examined the sea lion corpses, which were found on Bodegones beach in the northern state of Lambayeque beginning Jan. 13.

The ministry says it has asked Peru's environmental investigations agency to look into the killings.

Carlos Yaipen of the nonprofit ORCA conservation group blames the problem on the government, saying official negligence allows unscrupulous fishermen to kill they perceive as competitors.

Yaipen cited as one example the November 2009 killing of 350 off Colan beach in the northern region of Piura.

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