Local March 12, 2013 | 9:05 am

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Poachers slaughter manatees, dolphins in Samaná Bay, report

Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic.- Poachers slaughter manatees and dolphins with spearguns and clubs at the shores of San Lorenzo and Samaná bays, near Sabana de la Mar, listin.com.do reports Tuesday.

It said at least two dolphins were found stabbed to death in recent weeks at the Yabon river mouth, north of town in the Hato Mayor province.

Sabana de la Mar Environment Ministry official Luis Lopez Calcaño confirmed that fishermen Samana and Sanchez trap dolphins, manatees and other marine life near Sabana de la Mar.

"Fishermen from Samana and Sanchez have been exploring the waters of San Lorenzo and Samaná bays, because they exterminated fish stocks in the Atlantic Ocean and come looking to this area instead, and are eliminating protected species," he said.

Dominican and foreign poachers also kill protected species with dragnets, clubs and twine at La Gina Bay, between Miches and Sabana de la Mar, where environmentalists say estuaries are being plundered, which harms shellfish hatcheries.

Many of the dolphins, killed with potent spearguns, are wounded and left to eventually die, Lopez said, and warned that a crackdown has begun with poachers being charged.

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