Electrofishing vessels seized in dolphin conservation area

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Confiscated electrofishing boats are seen at a shore of the Ayeyawady River. Photo: WCS Myanmar

Under the Ayeyawady dolphin conservation plan, authorities have seized a total of 21 electrofishing vessels and other related items in a dolphin conservation area within three months, said U Kyaw Hla Thein, officer-in-charge of Ayeyawady dolphin conservation under the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS-Myanmar).
The Ayeyawady dolphin conservation plan is being carried out starting from 1 September between Mandalay and Kyauk Myaung.
To prevent the Ayeyawady dolphins from extinction and to eliminate the illegal fishing and electrofishing, a combined team comprising personnel from the Fisheries Department and other related organizations are patrolling day and night around the dolphin conservation area.
From 1 September to 30 November, the team seized 21 illegal fishing vessels, the electrofishing equipment and other accessories together with four fishers. The illegal equipment was handed over to the related Fisheries Department officials, and the four fishermen had legal action taken under the Freshwater Fisheries Law.
Seven dolphins were found dead before starting the Ayeyawady dolphin conservation plan. One dolphin was found dead again in November. Around three or four dolphins are found dead annually, beginning from last year. The cause of death of the dolphins is both natural and electrofishing.
The patrolling is being conducted in Htigyaing, Katha and Shwegu in Ayeyawady dolphin conservation area. —Aung Thura (Translated by Hay Mar)

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