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Yet another dolphin found dead in Halda River

  • Published at 04:26 pm December 5th, 2019
File photo of shows a dead Dolphin, bearing marks of injury, found in Halda RIver on Thursday, December 5, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The death of the dolphin is the second such incident in recent months

Yet another dolphin, bearing marks of injury, was found dead in Halda River yesterday afternoon.

Confirming the matter, Halda researcher Prof Dr Manzoorul Kibria told Dhaka Tribune the dead dolphin was recovered from Akbaria point of Halda River under Hathazari upazila.

When asked about the reason for the death of the dophin, Dr Kibria, who is also coordinator of the Halda River Research Laboratory, said: "We have taken the dead dolphin to the Halda River Research Laboratory and yet to determine the cause of its death."

The death of the dolphin is the second such incident in recent months. Earlier, on April 16, a six-month-old dolphin, bearing scars, was found floating at the Madunaghat point of the river.

On February 22 last year, in light of reports of the death of 18 dolphins in the Halda, a probe committee was formed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. The committee came up with a set of recommendations aimed to save dolphins in the Halda.

The six-point recommendations included placing restrictions on dredgers used for sand extraction and plying of engine-run boats in the Halda, prohibiting the use of all types of nets and gear hindering the free movement of fish and dolphins in the river, ensuring stern legal actions so that industrial pollutants and polluted water do not get mixed with the water, forming a co-management committee involving local residents to conserve the biodiversity of all aquatic fauna, including the dolphins, amending the existing fisheries law and conducting research to ensure the safe reproduction of and a safe habitat for dolphins in the Halda.

The Hathazari upazila administration has meanwhile destroyed six dredgers and 12 sand-extracting boats and several people were fined and jailed in the last 14 months.

Two species of dolphins are found in Bangladesh, the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) and the Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica).

The official position on the river dolphins, locally known as Shushuk [Platanista gangetica] speaks of their being “critically endangered” as noted in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a universally recognized index of the world’s endangered animals.

According to data available from the Halda River Research Laboratory, the number of river dolphins at present will not exceed 1,200 across the globe. Of the total number, some 250 dolphins are found in the Halda river.

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