River dolphin population 'dying'

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
3 September 2007, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - The world's river dolphin population is dying out thanks to bad environmental practices that also threaten the health of their human neighbours, an international environmental conference has been told.

The 10th annual River symposium, Australia's largest river management conference, brings around 500 delegates from 40 countries to Brisbane from Monday to discuss river health, damming practices, drought and climate change.

WWF river dolphin initiative coordinator Anna Forslund said China's Yangtze river, the Mekong river in Cambodia, the Ganges river in India and the Indus river system in Pakistan were among the world's most endangered rivers as evidenced by their dwindling river dolphin populations.

Ms Forslund said many people had never heard of river dolphins, which were smaller than marine dolphins, and were one of the most threatened species in the world with some populations now comprising between 1,000 to just a handful of wild creatures.

She said dolphin populations had been suffering from damming, overfishing, bad farming and mining practices, pollution and sewage since the 1970s.