More than 70 per cent of small cetaceans -- dolphins and porpoises -- are at risk from snares in fishing nets, says a survey released by the Regional Seas Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme. This was disclosed at the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals at Nairobi in Kenya.
Intentional catching, pollution, habitat destruction and military sonar also threaten cetaceans. Of the 71 species surveyed, 66 per cent risk being caught for food and other uses, and over 56 per cent are threatened by pollution. A further 24 per cent are at risk from dam building, siltation and other factors linked with habitat degradation. Noise pollution linked with underwater sonar and military manoeuvres imperils over four per cent of the species.
The survey advocated new protection measures for eight small cetacean species, including the Ganga river dolphin and the Atlantic spotted dolphin.
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