The Bangladesh government has said that it is taking all necessary steps to protect river dolphins and reverse the decline of these amazing cetaceans.
“The number of dolphins in the Sundarbans has increased at a significant rate as Dhangmari, Ghagramari and Chandpai sanctuaries have witnessed a 55 percent increase of the aquatic mammal, a milestone in the country’s dolphin conservation," Md Shahab Uddin, the Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister, said on Saturday.
"If dolphins can be protected, it is also possible to save the river environment. So the government is working hard to protect the freshwater dolphins in the country's rivers,” he said at a webinar on International Freshwater Dolphin Day 2020, organised by the Ministry.
Md Shahab Uddin, the Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister.
The government, the Minister said, has already declared nine sanctuaries for dolphins in the country and launched the Dolphin Action Plan. "We have also formulated a management plan to determine the number of dolphins in Halda River. It has also taken a community-based wealth management plan for three dolphin sanctuaries in the Sundarbans."
Bangladesh prohibits the killing of Ganges dolphins. The law mandates three-year punishment or Tk 3 lakh fine for killing dolphins, while its five-year imprisonment or Tk 5-lakh fine for second-time offence.
As many as seven dolphin conservation teams, each consisting 70 members, have been formed for dolphin conservation, while a number of training activities and financial assistance programmes were initiated for the fishermen in the Sundarbans along dolphin sanctuaries, the Minister said.
Besides, the government has also introduced Dolphin Fair and many other awareness programmes at different educational institutions across the country, the Minister said, urging people to perform their duties sincerely for saving dolphins.