A dead dolphin was found by a beachgoer on Keo Phos Port beach in Sihanoukville on Wednesday, according to fishery administration officials there.
The 60-kilogram seafaring mammal likely died after getting tangled in a fishing net, said Sihanoukville fisheries director Nen Chamroeun.
“We appeal to the fishermen who find dolphins in their nets to help release them into the water. Don’t leave them in the net for dead and throw them overboard like this,” he said.
Chan Seng, the beachgoer who chanced upon the corpse expressed his dismay at the find. “We pity the dead dolphin. It is a kind of rare fish in our country.”
Paul Ferber, director of Marine Conservation Cambodia, said that his organisation has found three dead Irrawaddy dolphins over the past year in nearby Kep Bay, which he also concluded died from fishing nets.
Irrawaddy dolphins are found throughout the region in salt and freshwater alike. The freshwater variety are critically endangered, with less than 100 estimated to exist in the Mekong River, ac-cording to the World Wildlife Fund. They are threatened primarily by fishing nets.
Additional reporting by Brent Crane