Save the Irrawaddy Dolphins from the Dangers of Fishing in the Mekong River

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

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  1. Sofie Løve Forsberg says:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    While I believe in your cause and have signed your petition, could you do

    the cause a favor? You provide links to share the cause on Facebook and

    Twitter, but another useful link to G+ would be especially beneficial

    because there are many such as myself who would gladly join your cause

    if G+’s link was available.

    Thank you so much for your consideration,

  2. Cliff Josephson Cliff Josephson says:

    We must do everything possible to save these remaining Dolphin and all of the other creatures on the brink of extinction

  3. Gerry Ryan says:

    A Fishery Law banning gillnet use in Irrawaddy dolphin habitats in the Mekong has recently been finalized and is currently awaiting the signature of Prime Minister Hun Sen for enactment.

    If effectively enforced, this law will provide the sort of protection this petition is requesting.

    The government will need strong support from the local communities to achieve effective implementation of this law, and so your support for those who must make a living and find food for their families in the face of these increasing restrictions would be welcomed.

    Best regards,

    -gerry ryan

  4. These dolphins are so precious and so cute!! I am doing everything I can to help save them. DOLPHINS ARE HEALERS. THEY HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO HELP HEAL PEOPLE WITH MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ILLNESS DUE TO THE WAVES OF RADIATION THEY SEND OUT AND THROUGH PEOPLE SWIMMING WITH THEM. DOLPHINS ALSO HELP PRODUCE RAINBOW (spiritual healing reiki —- energy healing. they help heal chakras auras hearts etc) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP

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