WORLD-famous actor Jackie Chan has called on Myanmar to save the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin and to stop electro-fishing in a video posted to the Irrawaddy River Conservation Commission website.
In the video, Mr Chan says: “Please you must help me to stop electro-fishing, and you must all protect the Irrawaddy dolphin Give the baby dolphin a chance to live like all the children of the world.”
He said he also hopes to visit Myanmar and see the Irrawaddy dolphin one day.
Surveys by the commission over the last five years have shown that the number of dolphins living in the river between Mandalay and Bhamo is declining.
“The survey is conducted every year. The dolphins are mainly living in the river course between Mandalay and Bhamo. According to our statistics, there has been a gradual decrease in the number of dolphins,” said Han Win, the director of the Irrawaddy River Conservation Commission.
“We study the number of dolphins living between Mandalay and Bhamo along the Irrawaddy River, dividing it into three sections. The number of dolphins decreased mostly near Bhamo. In 2010, we found |15 to 16 dolphins near Bhamo. Now we see about eight there. About |10 dolphins are missing near Katha, Shwegu and Htigyaing,” Han Win said.
The survey showed that there were 73 dolphins in 2010, 72 in 2011, 67 in 2012, 51 in 2013, 63 in 2014 and 58 in 2015.
One of the main challenges to conservation tasks for the dolphins is the use of electro-fishing techniques in the Irrawaddy River.
“In the past, electro-fishing was only done at night, but now it is done all day due to the lack of effective actions against the fishermen,” Han Win added.
Fishing nets and waste disposal |in the river also pose seriousthreats to Myanmar’s Irrawaddy dolphins.