A good news for the Dolphin lovers as Bangladesh is going to set up a protected area specifically for the river dolphins in the region. The Bangladesh forestry department took the decision of setting up a Dolphin Sanctuary after a study that found three areas in the Sundarbans mangrove forest are home to large populations of Irrawaddy and Ganges river dolphins.
The areas identified for the Dolphin sanctuary are the river channels at Dhangmari, Chandpai and Dudhmukhi in the eastern Sundarbans. The channels and adjoining areas are home to hundreds of endangered Irrawady and Ganges river dolphins. Thousands of fishermen make their living in that region by catching fish and shrimps. Although dolphins are not targeted directly, they often become entangled in the fishing nets and die by the dozen every year. It is decided to ban ban fishing in these channel areas.
The river channels at Sundarbans in both India and Bangladesh are considered as key hotspots for dolphins. It is home to at least 6000 Irrawaddy dolphins. It is also home to rare Gangetic river dolphins. In these delta areas the flat-faced dolphins are known to converge. Bangladesh has the highest concentration of them.
The Dolphin Sanctuary will be one of the pioneer in Asia to protect Dolphins. It will be interesting to see what measure will the government take to improve the socio-economic standards of the region as by declaration of protected area, the fishermen will be affected.