The WWF-Cambodia touted the birth of six Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin calves in the past nine months on Friday as it celebrated Fresh Water Dolphin Day held in Stung Treng, though stressed the threats of illegal fishing and hydropower dams remain a concern.
“The [birth of the calves] couldn’t have happened without the high commitment and effort of our team and partners,” said country director of WWF-Cambodia, Sam Ath Chhith. “It is worth celebrating and really contributes to rescuing the lives of our dolphins.”
However, he acknowledged that there were still “more battles to fight” in the conservation of the species, which has fallen to a worryingly low population of 80 in the Mekong River.
“Illegal fishing activities along the Mekong River…are still our major concern, and another main threat to the survival…is the mainstream hydropower dam,” he said, referring to the controversial Don Sahong dam under construction just across the border in neighboring Laos.
“The Fresh Water Dolphin Day this year is a light of hope and inspires all people to preserve this valuable species.”