Cambodia has discovered the fifth newborn dolphin in the northern province of Kratie, expanding the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin population in the region.
Khmer Times reports that researchers from the Kratie and Stung Treng Fisheries Administration districts with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Cambodia spotted the baby dolphin on Friday.
According to the team, a 10-day-old dolphin was found swimming with nine adult dolphins in the Mekong River in Cambodia last week, while twelve dolphin calves were recorded in the river in 2021 and 2022, with six documented doper year.
Seng Teak, the Country Director of WWF-Cambodia, said that more dolphin calves would be born by the end of this year, as five have been recorded to date.
In April, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen revoked the sub-decree on the protection of dolphins, allowing small fishing nets in the dolphin-protected areas. However, large fishing nets and electrofishing remain banned.
Hun Sen said that the livelihoods of thousands of fishing families in the northern province of Kratie and the northeast province of Stung Treng were affected since the sub-decree protecting dolphins was enforced in February, hence he repealed it a few months later.
The Irrawaddy Dolphin species is considered endangered with just 92 animals estimated to still exist, according to WWF.