Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fishing nets killed rare river dolphin

Fishing nets killed rare river dolphin

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A rare Irrawaddy dolphin, one of less than 100 believed to exist, was found dead after becoming tangled in an illegal fishing net in Kratie province. KRATIE TOURISM DEPARTMENT

Fishing nets killed rare river dolphin

Kratie’s provincial Department of Tourism on Tuesday said an illegal fishing net caused the death of an endangered Irrawaddy dolphin in the province’s Sambok village.

Rangers spotted the 110kg carcass of a female floating in the sea around 2.27m from Anlong Preah Sang.

“We all are saddened by the loss of the dolphin. A 30m-long fishing net was found tangled with its tail and its carcass was bloated with a foul stench emitting from it,” the provincial Tourism Department said on social media.

The freshwater dolphins are regarded as sacred to the people living along the stretch of the Mekong between Cambodia and Laos, but have become increasingly threatened by illegal fishing practices, according to World Wildlife Fund for Nature Cambodia (WWF-Cambodia) country director Seng Teak.

“Dolphin researchers examined the [carcass] of the dolphin and determined that it was caught in an illegal fishing net within the [Anlong Kampi] protected area,” Teak told The Post. “The dead dolphin was fully grown and had already reached reproductive age.”

Teak said that illegal fishing practices along the Mekong River in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces were the main reason behind the unusually high number of Irrawaddy dolphin deaths in the area and, as a result, the Kingdom’s dwindling river dolphin population.

“In 2018, we recorded 10 newborn dolphins and this year we have recorded 11. This means there were only 21 newborn dolphins over the past two years, while 10 have died since 2018,” he said.

There are currently between 78 and 92 Irrawaddy dolphins estimated to be left in the Mekong River, Teak said.

Last year, WWF-Cambodia reported that the Irrawaddy dolphin population had experienced an increase for the first time since official figures began being monitored in 1997.

WWF-Cambodia and relevant authorities are to conduct another dolphin census next year to determine the exact number left before launching a conservation campaign, Teak said.

“To preserve the remaining dolphins, please halt illegal fishing activities, especially in dolphin preservation areas along the Mekong River,” Teak said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Tragedy as four lions devour teenager in Pakistan safari park

    In a horrifying incident at an animal park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, four lions killed a 17-year-old grass reaper. However, how Muhammad Bilal Hussain managed to get near the lions was yet to be ascertained. Safari officials said Hussain climbed a 3.7m high

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

    The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department has called on citizens to excise caution over H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam. In a Facebook post, the department announced that it has made a series