Pregnant Irrawaddy dolphin believed killed by electro-fisher
ENVIRONMENTAL activists believe a pregnant Irrawaddy dolphin was killed by illegal electro-fishers this month in Sagaing township.
The dolphin was found dead near Kho Taung village, said Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) project manager U Kyaw Hla Thein.
“We found no wounds on the dead dolphin so that it is believed that the cause of death is electric fishing,” he said. “Residents called this dolphin ‘Thar Gyi Ma’ and she was pregnant. Her baby was also killed.”
Electro-fishing relies on electrodes to create muscular convulsions in fish, causing them to swim toward the electrodes and become stunned. The practice was outlawed in 2005. The dead dolphin used to live near Inn Daung village with four other dolphins. She helped fishers and tour guides, said U Than Oo from Inn Daung village.
“She always helped out the local net fishers,” he said. “I am sad that she died and even more sad that her baby died as well. The government should take proper action against those who practice electric-shock fishing.”
The mother was seven months pregnant and due in a few months, said U Kyaw Hla Thein.
The bodies of three Irrawaddy dolphins have been found this year. According to a survey carried out by the Department of Fisheries in February, there are 65 dolphins left in the Ayeyarwady River.
– Translation by Zar Zar Soe
Men lift a pregnant Irrawaddy dolphin thought to have been killed by electric-shock fishing this month.