Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More dolphin by-catch

Unfortunately another Irrawaddy dolphin was accidentally caught in fishing nets near Kuching last month. This time it was a new born calf, less than a metre long. As you can see from the photo it was tiny. Usual story, the fisherman hauled in his nets and found the dolphin which had already drowned. As I’ve mentioned before the true scale of dolphin by-catch in Sarawak waters is not known as the relevant wildlife agency does not monitor the situation or encourage fishermen to report cases of incidental catch. Research carried out a few years ago in the Kuching Division suggests that 2-3 dolphins are caught each year in villages located near known dolphin populations. The informal reports I get suggest that the figure is often higher, although numbers fluctuate from year to year.

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