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Songkhla Lake’s Irrawaddy Dolphins at high risk of extinction

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SONGKHLA, May 24 -- A Songkhla-based Irrawaddy Dolphin conservation club and concerned officials on Thursday urged the appropriate government agencies to determine proper conservation measures for the critically endangered species in the Songkhla Lake.

Uthai Yordchan, president of Ban Laem Hat Irrawaddy Dolphin Conservation Club, together with the Songkhla Farmers Council and members submitted a letter to the agriculture and cooperatives minister and the natural resources and environment minister via Songklha Governor Grisada Boonrach.

The club called on government agencies to set up measures to resolve the problems related to the dying-out of the species in Songkhla Lake and to conserve the dolphins as well as urgently resolve fishing activity related to netting the Mekong Giant Catfish in the Irrawaddy Dolphin conservation zone in Songkhla Lake.

Irrawaddy dolphins are considered as one the five world’s valuable natural resources and also a valuable natural resource among residents in the Songkhla Lake Basin, the group explained.

In April and May this year, about seven Irrawaddy dolphins were found dead, spotted by local fishermen, as they were netted together with the Mekong Giant Catfish.

As a result, the remaining dolphins inhabiting in the Songkhla Lake are endangered and at high risk of extinction in the near future.

Currently, an estimated 30 Irrawaddy dolphins inhabit in Songkhla Lake, according to Santi Ninwat, professional fisheries biologist at the Songkhla-based lower gulf of Thailand Marine and Coastal Resources Research Center. (MCOT online news)


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