Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Irrawaddy dolphin’s body tangled in illegal nets

Irrawaddy dolphin’s body tangled in illegal nets

An endangered Irrawaddy dolphin swims in the Mekong river in Kratie province in 2012. AFP PHOTO / Gerry Ryan / World Wildlife Fund-Cambodia
An endangered Irrawaddy dolphin swims in the Mekong river in Kratie province in 2012. AFP PHOTO / Gerry Ryan / World Wildlife Fund-Cambodia

Irrawaddy dolphin’s body tangled in illegal nets

A vulnerable Irrawaddy dolphin was found dead in Kratie’s Sambor district on Tuesday after being caught in fishermen’s illegal gill nets, authorities and environmental watchdogs said.

‘‘I think this dolphin may have been dead for three or four days – its body was swollen and rotten, and its tail was tangled in nets,’’ said Seang Sokhim, a guard for the Koh Pdav natural dolphin pool.

Emma Fry, a communication assistant with the World Wildlife Fund, said the female dolphin was 183 centimetres long and weighed 80 kilograms.

This is the first time that locals saw a dolphin succumb to illegal fishing equipment, according to Sokhim.

However, communities in Stung Treng and Kratie have been aware of gill nets’ threat to dolphin populations for a long time, according to experts from WWF and environmental group MLUP Baitong.

Dolphins entangled in the nets usually die because they can’t come up for air, they said

WWF country director Chhith Sam Ath said yesterday last year’s survey found only 80 dolphins in Kratie and Stung Treng. Nine dolphins died over the course of 2015. So far, two have died this year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the

  • Soaring global fuel prices: an opportunity for Cambodia?

    Cambodia is feeling the squeeze from the soaring global coal and oil prices. Electricity du Cambodge (EDC)would certainly be hurting from this reality, and most likely re-assessing its plans to add more coal power stations. EDC buys half of Cambodia’s electricity from plants

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when