5 Ayeyawady dolphins found dead in 6 months along Ayeyawady River

received_675617892988957 Ayeyawady dolphins are under the threat of electro-fishing method.  PHOTO: Htaik Htar Naing

01 July 2020 - Source: Global New Light of Myanmar - Five Ayeyawady dolphins including a one-month-old baby dolphin were found dead within six months in the Ayeyawady River along with Mandalay– Bhamo, according to the Endangered Species Conservation Division under the Fisheries Department.

"Five Ayeyawady dolphins were recorded found dead from January to June 2020. Among the dead dolphins, the one-year-old baby female dolphin was found dead on 2 June. A survey conducted in February 2020 had shown a total of 79 dolphins between Mandalay-Bhamo, which is a record high population this year," said U Zaw Man, the deputy head of the Endangered Species Conservation Division, Fisheries Department (Nay Pyi Taw). Another one-year-old baby female dolphin was reportedly found dead on 27 June early morning at Sein Pan Gone Village in Madaya Township, Mandalay Region, according to the Fisheries Department.

"According to the local villagers, the four small boats, which are illegally catching with the use of the electro-fishing method, are found two miles away from the village in which people found the dead dolphin. We assumed that the dolphin was only one-year-old and she was electrified to death. The dead baby dolphin was put inside an icebox and brought to Mandalay Region," he added.

Our contract with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) will expire in 2022. So, the conservation will be conducted by other organizations. Some activities are conducted despite the budget constraint. The Ayeyawady dolphin conservation cannot be conducted only by an individual organization. We need more cooperation of the related department, organizations and the local communities.

Regarding with the Ayeyawady dolphin conservative area, the conservation area zone-1 is between Minkin and Kyaukmyaung townships while the zone-2 is between Htigyaing and Shwegu townships. The department seized 10 illegal electro-fishing boats in 2017, 20 in 2018, 31 in 2019 and 19 in 2020 with three illegal fishermen. Then, the illegal fishing boats were handed over to the fisheries department.

In the Ayeyawady conservative area, the related fisheries department is conducting awareness activities of the illegal electro-fishing in cooperation with WCS. —Htik Htar Naing (Translated by Hay Mar)

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