TWO new villages, In Daung and Shein Ma Kar villages, will be added to the Community Based Ecotourism in the Ayeyarwady Dolphin Protected Area (ADPA) in Mandalay region. Previously, there were six villages in ADPA, but now there will be eight, said project manager U Kyaw Hla Thein from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The ecotourism project will create increased income opportunities for local fishermen and support ongoing dolphin conservation, according to the Society.
“This year, foreigners sleep overnight because they can find many dolphins active near In Daung village, which foreigners enjoy visiting. So, we added two new villages to ADPA. We also added a Myanmar traditional Pottery business in Shein Ma Kar village,” he added.
Fishermen there go about fishing with the assistance of the dolphins. Besides fishing, they earn extra income from cooking, selling souvenirs and showing the dolphins.
“The project is aimed at preserving endangered species. But, we can’t do anything without the assistance of local people. Local people are closely in touch with the dolphins which are being faced with the danger of extinction. So, we have implemented this community- based ecotourism project in Ayeyawady Dolphin Protected Area.” he added.
According to this year’s data collection, conducted in ADPA in Mandalay, there are 25 dolphins. Out of the six villages, Hse Thae and Myit Kan Gyi are from Singu township while Myay Sun, Sein Pan Gone, Aye Kyun, and Hsin Kyun are from Madaya township.
Tourists from Germany and France in Europe, Korea, China and other countries are interested in dolphin- assisted fishing.
Aung Thant Khine