Troubled waters

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

increasing pollution in rivers and indiscriminate use of gillnets are pushing dolphins on the brink of extinction in India. These findings have been reported by Brian Smith of the Geneva-based International Union for Conservation of Nature and S Lalmohan, marine scientist and chairperson of the Conservation of Nature Trust.

Gillnets have been responsible for most of the deaths, says Lalmohan. Nearly 100 animals are killed every year due to accidental trapping in gillnets that are used for catching seer tuna and other commercially valuable fish. Pollution is another factor that has caused a decline in dolphin numbers, says Smith.

The population of dolphins in Indian rivers is not more than 1,000. About 600 of them are in the Ganges and the rest in the Brahmaputra. The newly built Farakka barrage has restricted the movement of dolphins, thereby posing a serious threat to the species.

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