Effective law needed to save dolphins

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STAFF REPORT LHR: The liberalised fisheries law of the Sindh province has put into jeopardy the existence of the rare sweet water mammal, Indus River Dolphin, as it encourages more people to get fishing licence than before, which resulted in that as many as 40 dolphins were reportedly found dead in the River Indus last year.
“There is a dire need for better control and management of fishing activity at the River Indus as increased number of fishermen resulted in increased number of dolphin mortality,” International and Policy Programme Director of the United States Marine Mammal Commission Dr Peter Thomas, said in a interview here.
Surveys results show that some 1,600-1,750 dolphins were witnessed in the River Indus in 2006, but their population dropped to 1,300-1,400 in 2011 survey, despite efforts to conserve the endangered species, he pointed out.
“If we maintain the flow of water in the River Indus, even after meeting all other demands, which are essential for the environment, for the people and for the fish habitat, dolphins can be conserved,” he maintained.


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