The government has declared nine dolphin sanctuaries as protected areas to conserve the country’s endangered aquatic mammals under an action plan, according to the environment ministry on Monday.
The ministry has already formed seven dolphin conservation teams in the Sundarbans area to protect the water creature.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin came up with the information at a discussion meeting organised at the Forest Department on the occasion of International Freshwater Dolphin Day-2022 under the theme of “Protect the dolphins, protect the aquatic ecosystem”.
“The government has prepared a Dolphin Action Plan and declared nine dolphin sanctuaries to conserve the country’s dolphins. Seven dolphin conservation teams have been formed in the Sundarbans area,” he added.
He said that with dolphins, the water ecology is better and the growth of fish species increases. Therefore, dolphins should be protected to keep the river and aquatic biodiversity of the country good.
Deputy Minister of the Ministry Habibun Nahar, Secretary Farhina Ahmed, and Country Representative of IUCN Bangladesh Rakibul Amin spoke at the event among others.
In the Wildlife (Conservation and Safety) Act 2012, there is a provision of imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to Tk 300,000 or both for killing whales or dolphins. This law is being implemented.
A Marine Protected Area has been declared covering an area of 1,738 square kilometres of Swatch of No Ground area in the Bay of Bengal for the conservation of dolphins.
The number of dolphins in the Sundarbans has increased significantly as a result of the government’s activities.
In the three sanctuaries of Sundarbans – Dhangmari, Dudhmukhi and Chandpai – the growth rate is 55 per cent, which is serving as a milestone for dolphin conservation in the country, the minister added.