An adult male Irrawaddy dolphin, weighing 93kg and 215cm long, have been found death in the Kampi pool in Kratie province, said a recent joint statement of the Fisheries Administration and WWF.

The carcass was discovered floating about 36 kilometres downstream of the Kampi pool, said the source, adding that an examination of the dolphin carcass led the members of the Fisheries Administration-WWF’s research team to describe a wound on its tail and a long scratch below its dorsal fin. The research team are not able to conclude whether the death was caused by getting caught in fishing net as no mark of gillnet on the dead dolphin body has been observed.

The carcass was transferred to the WWF Office in Kratie province, where a continued investigation will take place to determine the exact cause of death, it continued.

According to the joint statement, this is the third adult dolphin that died during the course of first five months this year, where the death of two calves was also recorded. Despite the ban of the use of gillnets in the Mekong habitat by the Royal Government, and while the provincial fisheries cantonments continue to reinforce this ban, entanglement in fishing nets continues to kill the majority of adult dolphin population.

Immediate measures such as strengthening the fisheries management, including dolphin conservation, addressing irregularities, increasing the number of patrols during daytime and nighttime throughout the Mekong habitats in order to conserve the remaining dolphins and protect the River’s mega fish species have been taken.

The Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins are fully protected under Cambodia’s Fisheries Law. The population is ranked as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, the highest international threat ranking for endangered species. The 2020 population census estimated only 89 individuals still swim a 180 kilometre stretch of the Mekong River in Cambodia.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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