A 105-kilogram Irrawaddy dolphin was found dead along the banks of the Mekong River in Kratie town.
The 203-centimetre female dolphin "died a few days ago, and its body floated downstream to the riverbank, tangled in a fishing net and was not found until today,” said Nut Kimsan, chief of a team from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries working to preserve dolphins in the area. “After we examined the body, we concluded that it had died from being caught in a net used by illegal fishers.”
Kimsan added that further investigation showed that within the past few days a pod of dolphins had swum outside the preservation area to Kampong Cham bridge, leaving them vulnerable to illegal fishermen.
“We decided to bury it at the conservation area from where it swam,” Kimsan said, adding that this was the first death of a freshwater dolphin in the Mekong this year.
According to WWF-Cambodia, fewer than 100 Irrawaddy dolphins remain.
Sean Kin, director at the Fishery Department, said illegal fishing had been determined as the cause of death after the carcass was rapidly retrieved by officials.