Carcasses of 36 dolphins spotted since Sept 2016
CHATTOGRAM, Oct 12: Dolphins have been getting killed in the Halda River in an increased number for the past few years making the national heritage appear as an extremely unsafe zone for the aquatic creatures.
Carcasses of as many as 36 dolphins have been found afloat in the river since September 2016.
Sources said the environment of the Halda is getting highly polluted and risky for the fish population day by day.
At least 20 species of fish, including ruhi and katla, were killed due to severe pollution from industrial effluent and city waste.
Besides, red dolphins, a rare species of fish, are also getting killed in the Halda due to the unabated plying of engine boats.
A total of 36 red dolphins have been killed till today since September 2016. Sources said fish and dolphins are dying often in the Halda.
The red dolphins were killed by being hit by dredgers or engine boats.
Experts said pollution, lack of dredging, movement of engine boats, and illegal fishing are the prime causes of death of fish in the river.
Industrial units in Kaptai, Oxygen and nearby areas release chemical effluent into the water of the Halda through different channels.
Professor Dr Manjurul Kibria, coordinator of Halda Research Laboratory of Chattogram University, said, “The red dolphin is a rare species of sea fish. Red dolphins are killed by the hit of dredgers and engine boats. I have been informed that 31 red dolphins were killed recently in Halda, which is very unfortunate.
Besides, many mother fishes were also killed in Halda as engine boats and dredgers collecting sands ran in a haphazard way.”
He also said, “As per list of IUCN, there are 1,100 to 1,200 red dolphins in the world now. Of these, at least 200 to 250 dolphins are living in Halda.”
Professor Kibria further said, “We have submitted a 10-point proposal for saving the river Halda. The proposals include declaring the river as world heritage as it is the lone natural fish reproduction centre of the world, revising the government projects along with the locals, using scientific method for collection and brooding (egg-laying) in the water of Halda, saving the river from the syndicates who are polluting it, stopping illegal dredging and construction of hatcheries on the banks of Halda, preserving the natural fish reproduction centre, saving the natural oxbows in Halda etc.”