Officials Call To Save River Dolphins As Numbers Fall

 Phnom Penh: Officials of the Fisheries Administration called on all parties to jointly conserve the Mekong River dolphins in Cambodia to ensure that this species survives, after a series of challenges that could lead to extinction in the future.

The call was made by Mr. Srun Limsong, Deputy Secretary General of the National Committee for ESCAP and Deputy Director General of the Fisheries Administration at the meeting to disseminate the technical report on the study of the total number of Mekong dolphins in 2020 on the 22nd October 2020.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Srun Limsong confirmed that the total estimate in 2017 was about 92 dolphins, while the new estimate received in 2020 was about 89 (a 3.3% decline).

The dolphins face many threats, such as exposure to fishing nets in the area, animal control and protection of animals, illegal fishing activities using toxic fishing gear and overfishing due to human population growth and hydropower dams upstream.

With the number of dolphins declining, Mr. Srun Limsong called on all parties to participate in conservation to protect this rare animal for the future generations.

Mr. Seng Teak, Director of WWF, said that although the number of dolphins from 2017 to 2020 has decreased slightly, however, he said that the current number of dolphins is worrying and we to act to preserve them. RASMEI

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