Target: Cambodia Ministry of Environment, Technical Director General Mr. Lonh Heal
Goal: Protect the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins by changing fishing methods used in Cambodia and Laos.
New research indicates the severity of living conditions for the endangered species, Irrawaddy dolphins located in the Mekong river of Southeast Asia. A recent survey conducted by the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, projected roughly 85 surviving dolphins, a number that will quickly decline if nothing is done. Although these dolphins are not exploited, due to high Fishery laws in Cambodia and Lao PDR, they are often incidentally killed due to fishing habits.
In 2001, reports revealed that many Irrawaddy dolphins were killed because of fishing operations. These adorable dolphins are often killed in entanglements by gillnets. Their marine and freshwater habitats are also jeopardized by the development of dams and mining. To add on to these dangerous conditions, research reveals an extremely high mortality rate for calves, which may hinder any success for the reproduction of this species.
The Irrawaddy dolphins were placed on the critically endangered species list in 2004 and are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list, which is the highest ranking for an endangered species.
Despite fishery laws in both countries, amendments need to be made to ensure that these incidental killings stop. By changing fishing methods, banning or limiting the use of gillnets, or by marking specific areas as non fishing zones would all help start the conservation of these dolphins.
By signing this petition below, you will ask the Technical Director General Mr. Lonh Heal of the Cambodia Ministry of Environment to change fishing laws that will help save the Irrawaddy dolphins.
Dear Technical Director General Mr. Lonh Heal of the Cambodia Ministry of Environment,
Despite fishery laws, the limited Irrawaddy dolphin species living in the Mekong River are still at a high risk of extinction. Research reveals that roughly 85 dolphins remain and they are continually depleting due to incidental deaths from fishing operations, as well as a high mortality rate for calves.
Gillnet fishing is extremely dangerous for these dolphins and we ask you to help implement change to existing fishing methods. Banning gillnet fishing, or even limiting the use of this method, may save a lot of these dolphins.
We urge you to set up non-fishing zones in areas where these dolphins frequent. Furthermore, you must increase public awareness regarding the consequences of the current fishing methods. Please implement change so that these dolphins can thrive in your waters and be saved from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: World Wide Waves