Irrawaddy dolphin tour to be launched in February

This file sskm
A Irrawaddy baby dolphin swimming in the Ayeyawady River.

Plans are underway to implement an Irrawaddy dolphin-sighting tour along the Ayeyawady River in coming February, according to the Sagaing Region Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.
The Wildlife Conservation Society and tourism entrepreneurs are collaborating to launch the programme to observe Irrawaddy dolphins in Mingun and Shwebo-Kyaukmyaung areas along the Ayeyawady River in Sagaing Region.
U Myint Sein, head of the regional directorate, said: “We’re expecting an early February launch. Tourism industry can create many opportunities, generate foreign revenue and bring different cultures together. I’m confident that this renewed effort for the dolphin observation programme will be a success.” The programme will be one of many attractions designed for foreign tourists. Countries hosting river dolphins generate significant revenue through dolphin-sighting tours and exhibitions due to the rarity of these creatures.
Irrawaddy dolphins, predominantly inhabiting in the Ayeyawady River, have been a part of Myanmar’s ecosystem for over 2,000 years. The term “Irrawaddy” also officially refers to the same species residing in the rivers of neighbouring countries, as well as along the Mekong River and in India. Known for their short snouts and friendly looks, these mammals reproduce between the ages of seven and nine. The pregnancy lasts 14 months, and their average life expectancy is between 30 and 50 years. The Fisheries Department is working together with relevant offices to preserve Irrawaddy dolphins often regarded them as a “jewel” of Myanmar. The nature-based tourism is a way to promote the local economy and generate foreign revenue for the country. — Nyein Thu (MNA) /NT

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