January 28, 2023

An Adult Dolphin Found Dead, a Tragic Loss for the Endangered Species

An adult male Irrawaddy dolphin of 15-20 years and 230cm long, weighing 162kg has been found dead near Kratie-Stung Treng border.
The Fisheries Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and WWF are saddened by the loss of another Irrawaddy dolphin from the Mekong population.
According to WWF’s news release, the carcass was discovered floating around Koh Dambang deep pool near Kratie-Stung Treng border.
A thorough examination of the dolphin carcass on Dec. 18, 2022 led the members of the Fisheries Administration-WWF’s research team to suggest that the dolphin died due to entanglement in gillnet with signs of monofilament on the flipper, body and fluke, and bruising areas of neck lesion, it added.
This tragic report brings the total number of deaths to nine dolphins in 2022. “We are deeply concerned about the high mortality at an unprecedented rate during the past 3 years with 27 dolphins died in total from 2020 to 2022 (as of Dec. 18),” WWF said.

“It is extremely terrifying every time a dead dolphin is discovered. The death of a healthy adult dolphin like this one is sad given its currently tiny population, as this directly affects the breeding potential of the Mekong dolphins,” said Mr. Seng Teak, WWF-Cambodia Country Director.
WWF called for intensification of law enforcement effort to completely halt all illegal fishing activities in dolphin conservation areas so as to protect the living heritage as well as to manage the wild fish stock for a long lasting food security for millions.
The Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) 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.
In 2021, an estimated number of 95 dolphins were recorded in the Mekong River in Cambodia, up from 93 in 2020 and 89 in 2019, pointed out a report of the Department of Fisheries Conservation at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press