Bangladesh to set up dolphin sanctuaries

October 31, 2011
Bangladesh will declare three river areas in its southwest as dolphin sanctuaries, wildlife officials said Monday, in a bid to protect the country's population of endangered freshwater cetaceans.

Bangladesh will declare three river areas in its southwest as dolphin sanctuaries, wildlife officials said Monday, in a bid to protect the country's population of endangered freshwater cetaceans.

The forestry department took the decision after studies found three areas in the UNESCO-listed Sundarbans mangrove forest, which straddles Bangladesh and India, were home to large populations of Irrawaddy and Ganges river .

"We have decided to declare river channels at Dhangmari, Chandpai and Dudhmukhi areas in the eastern Sundarbans as dolphin sanctuaries," Tapan Kumar Dey, senior official at the forest department, said.

"The channels and adjoining areas are home to hundreds of endangered Irrawady and Ganges river dolphins. Fishermen will be banned from fishing in the areas," he told AFP.

Tens of thousands of fishermen catch fish and shrimp in the channels. Although dolphins are not targeted directly, they often become entangled in the and die by the dozen every year.

A series of studies since 2002 by the Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project (BCDP) identified the three areas in the Sunderbans' which are key dolphin hotspots.

An earlier BCDP study found the world's largest population of Irrawaddy dolphins -- an estimated 6,000 -- living along Bangladesh's southern coast, including in the Sundarbans.

In other areas where the flat-faced dolphins are known to converge, such as the Mekong delta in South East Asia, populations have been estimated at less than 100.

Explore further: WWF calls for action to save Mekong dolphins

Related Stories

WWF calls for action to save Mekong dolphins

August 17, 2011

Conservation group WWF on Wednesday called for urgent action to prevent the extinction of freshwater dolphins in the Mekong River, including the creation of special conservation zones.

Dolphin conservationists save tigers in Bangladesh

August 5, 2011

A team of young Bangladeshi conservationists supported by the Conservation Leadership Program and Save Our Species have stopped a fire raging across an area of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, threatening species and habitat ...

Dolphin population at risk in Britain

May 16, 2007

A report from the Wildlife Trusts and an animal charity has found that commercial fishing in Britain is placing the regional dolphin population at risk.

Recommended for you

Lab charts the anatomy of three molecular channels

January 23, 2017

Using a state-of-the-art imaging technology in which molecules are deep frozen, scientists in Roderick MacKinnon's lab at Rockefeller University have reconstructed in unprecedented detail the three-dimensional architecture ...

New steps in the meiosis chromosome dance

January 23, 2017

Where would we be without meiosis and recombination? For a start, none of us sexually reproducing organisms would be here, because that's how sperm and eggs are made. And when meiosis doesn't work properly, it can lead to ...

Research describes missing step in how cells move their cargo

January 23, 2017

Every time a hormone is released from a cell, every time a neurotransmitter leaps across a synapse to relay a message from one neuron to another, the cell must undergo exocytosis. This is the process responsible for transporting ...

Immune defense without collateral damage

January 23, 2017

Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have clarified the role of the enzyme MPO. In fighting infections, this enzyme, which gives pus its greenish color, produces a highly aggressive acid that can kill pathogens ...

Provocative prions may protect yeast cells from stress

January 23, 2017

Prions have a notorious reputation. They cause neurodegenerative disease, namely mad cow/Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. And the way these protein particles propagate—getting other proteins to join the pile—can seem insidious.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.