Irrawaddy dolphin found dead in Kratie

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The dolphin, weighing 93kg and was 215cm long, was found dead two days prior at about 36km downstream of the Kampi pool. WWF-CAMBODIA

The Fisheries Administration (FiA) and World Wide Fund for Nature Cambodia (WWF-Cambodia) on May 14 said they were saddened by the loss of another adult male Irrawaddy dolphin in Kratie province.

The dolphin, weighing 93kg and was 215cm long, was found dead two days prior at about 36km downstream of the Kampi pool.

According to their joint statement on May 14, this was the third adult freshwater dolphin that had died in the course of over four months of this year.

The FiA and WWF-Cambodia research team examined its carcass and found a wound on its tail and a long scratch below its dorsal fin.

“The research team suggested that the dolphin died about two days ago, but was not able to conclude whether the death was caused by getting caught in fishing net as no mark of gillnet on the dead dolphin body has been observed,” the press statement said.

“The death of a healthy adult dolphin is especially sad given its currently small population, as this directly affects the breeding potential of the Mekong’s dolphins. The carcass was transferred to the WWF Office in Kratie province, where a continued investigation will take place to determine the exact cause of death,” the statement said.

Irrawaddy dolphin is listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

The 2020 population census estimated that only 89 dolphins were still swimming a 180km stretch of the Mekong River in Cambodia.