Cambodia creates safe zones for rare Mekong River dolphins
- By Xinhua News Agency
- February 28, 2023 9:55 AM
PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia on Monday created Irrawaddy dolphin conservation and protection zones covering a 120-km-long stretch of the Mekong River in northeastern Stung Treng and Kratie provinces, according to a sub-decree.
Signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the sub-decree said the safe zone for the rare animal included 35 km in the main channel of the Mekong River in Stung Treng and 85 km in Kratie.
"Fishing must be prohibited from the dolphin conservation and protection zones," the sub-decree said, adding that vessels must not be allowed to travel at the speed of more than 30 km per hour, while aquaculture is also banned.
The move came after three adult dolphins were killed by longline fishing hooks within a week in December.
The Irrawaddy dolphins have been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species since 2004.
Kratie provincial governor Var Thorn has said that there are about 80 Irrawaddy dolphin population in the Cambodian portion of the Mekong River and that the rare mammal are very attractive to national and international tourists.