The Fisheries Department and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) of Myanmar will conduct a survey and research on the activities of Ayeyawady dolphins from Mandalay to Bhamo in Ayeyawady river on 6 February. The trip is scheduled to take place over 10 days.
During the trip, the Fisheries Department and the WCS will provide awareness on dolphin conservation, as well as convince local villagers not to catch fish using electric-shock methods. They will also set up signboards to warn and increase awareness among people,” said U Han Win, who is in charge of Ayeyawady dolphin conservation under the Fisheries Department.
“We will know the exact number of dolphins only after conducting the survey. Currently, we cannot say that the number of dolphins has reduced because of the mortality rate of dolphins. However, reproduction has occurred among the dolphins. Normally, conservation and research trips are held in February every year, he added.
Data on the dolphins will be collected with the use of a small boat and a ship. To locate the dolphins, we will use the GPS system, 7x50mm lens, a depth meter, a sounder and cameras. “Ayeyawady dolphins come to the water surface every 30 to 60 seconds and do not jump like sea dolphins, but only swim slowly,” he added.
According to data collected in February 2017, there were 25 dolphins living in a 72-kilometre stretch between Mingun and Kyaukmyaung, 43 dolphins living in a 117-kilometre stretch in the Bhamo area and 68 dolphins living between Mandalay and Bhamo.
Khine Set Wai