Hot! Cambodia Creates Safe Zones for Mekong Dolphins

AFP | The Cambodian government on Friday said it will limit fishing in a zone in the Mekong River to protect critically endangered freshwater dolphins.

The Irrawaddy dolphin conservation area will cover a 180-kilometre-long (110 miles) stretch of river from eastern Kratie province to the border with Laos, the government said after the measure was approved in the weekly cabinet meeting.

Fishing will still be allowed inside the zone but the use of floating houses, fish cages and gill nets will be banned as they risk endangering the dolphins. The government estimates there are between 155 and 175 Irrawaddy dolphins left in Cambodia’s stretch of the Mekong River, while WWF last year put the figure at just 85.

The newly created zone “will serve the eco-tourism sector and sustainably preserve dolphins,” the statement said.

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