Saturday, 20 June 2009

Cambodia rejects report of Mekong River dolphins near extinction+

PHNOM PENH, June 19 (AP) - (Kyodo)—The Cambodian government on Friday rejected as "a total lie" a report by an international conversation group that dolphins living in parts of the Mekong River between Cambodia and Laos are on the brink of extinction due to pollution.

Touch Seang Tana, Cambodia's chairman of a commission for conservation and development of the Mekong River Dolphin and eco-tourism, told Kyodo News the report by the World Wide Fund for Nature was aimed at attracting and convincing donors to inject more funds into the group.

Inhabiting a 190-kilometer stretch of the river, the Irrawaddy dolphin population has suffered 88 deaths since 2003, of which 58 were calves under 2 weeks old, bringing the latest population to an estimated 64 to 76 members, the WWF said in its report.

WWF researchers found toxic levels of pesticides such as DDT and environmental contaminants such as PCBs in an analysis of 21 dead dolphins retrieved between 2004 and 2006, as well as high mercury levels in some of them, the group said.

Touch Seang Tana said the number of dolphins has increased from roughly 120 recorded in 2000 to about 160 in 2009.

"There are no such critical pollutants, otherwise, some 50,000 people living along the 200-km stretch of the river and who are using and drinking the water might have died before the dolphins," he said.

He also disputed the number of dolphin deaths recorded by the WWF, suggesting the group should have recorded as many as 118 deaths since 2000 due to illegal fishing and a lack of conservation activities until after 2003.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wish to say your article is as astounding.

The clarity to your post is simply great and that i could think you're knowledgeable on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to snatch your RSS feed to keep up to date with coming near near post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please carry on the rewarding work.

Look at my page ford ranger