Pakistan News

Probe launched into killing of three blind dolphins

Probe launched into killing of three blind dolphins

DERA GHAZI KHAN: A team of the World Wildlife Fund for Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) recovered remains of highly protected and endangered blind Indus dolphins who were killed by the fishing net of a private contractor near Ghazi Ghat Bridge about a week ago.

The Indus is abode of rare blind dolphin, a highly protected species of fish. Three dolphins, including mother and her two offspring, were trapped in the fishing net of the contractor.

It is being alleged that the cause of death of dolphins was strangulation by the fishing net. Bodies of two baby dolphins were buried along riverside near Ghazi Ghat Bridge by the wildlife department while the mother dolphin was taken away by the divisional authority of the DG Khan wildlife department for biopsy.

Fisheries Assistant Director Shaheen said the killing of three dolphins was being investigated by his department but protection of the dolphin was the jurisdiction of the wildlife department.

He claimed the cause of death of the dolphins might be receding water level of the river due to closure of gates of the Taunsa Barrage but the final word would be possible after the probe. However, he said, the contractor had not any role in the killing of dolphins.

Wildlife Department Deputy Director Hasan Ali Sukhera admitted the mysterious killing and dumping of family of blind dolphins. He said the cause of death was low water level and strangulation by the fishing net. The wildlife department could not fix the responsibility of killing of dolphins, he added.

When this correspondent contacted WWF-Pakistan representative Umer Waqar, he said the WWF team had inspected the burial site of dolphins on the eastern bank of the Indus River and recovered remains of dolphins. He said dolphins’ killing was a great tragedy as they were an important feature of the Indus river.

He added the WWF-Pakistan conducted regular survey of blind Indus dolphins after every five years to count their population.

Mr Waqar said there were 100 dolphins from Chashma Barrage to Taunsa Barrage while the number was 465 from Taunsa to Guddu, 850 from Guddu to Sakhar barrage while from Sukkur to Kotri barrage, there were 35 dolphins.

Killed dolphins lying on the riverbank at Dera Ghazi Khan.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2016

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