After eight years, Brazil has banned a fishery that uses dolphin meat as bait for the country's catfish industry, a practice that has gone on unrestricted by authorities. The announcement, spurred by backlash over the dolphin killings, is a major win for conservation -- while the killing of dolphins was officially banned already, the closure of the fishery ensures that illegal killings for bait won't go unnoticed.
The fishery for piracatinga, also referred to as "vulture catfish," involved using pink river dolphins, also called Amazon river dolphins, as bait. After footage of a live dolphin being cut up for bait made the rounds on the internet recently, killing the animals was outlawed.
"It's the biggest fisheries ban since 1967 when Brazil's original faunal protection laws were made," Jone César of the Friends of the Manatee Association told New Scientist.
The species is a unique one -- because of capillaries right under their skin, they actually do appear pink.