27 dolphins have died in Halda River since September 2017
A Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica) with injury marks was found dead in the Halda River on Tuesday afternoon.
Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, Prof Dr Manzoorul Kibria, noted Halda researcher, said the semi-decomposed dolphin was spotted at Kagotiya Ajimer Hat area under Raozan portion of the river.
“The aquatic mammal died 2-3 days ago and bore an injury mark on its tail. We suspect that the dolphin died after sustaining injuries from a sharp weapon,” said Dr Kibria.
The dolphin was later buried with the help of Raozan UNO, he added.
“So far, 27 dolphins have died in the Halda River since September 2017. It is an ominous sign for the conservation of the dolphin in the region,” added Dr Kibria.
Earlier on August 14, a dolphin was found dead at Modunaghat point of Halda River.
On May 19, the High Court formed a committee headed by the deputy commissioner of Chittagong to stop the killing of river dolphins and broodfish while protecting the biodiversity of the Halda River.
The bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan issued the order during a virtual hearing on Tuesday when two reports on the matter were placed before it by the director-general of the Department of Environment and district commissioner of Chittagong.
The court also asked lawmakers elected from areas near the banks of the Halda River to act as advisers to the committee.
Two types of dolphins are found in Bangladesh- Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) and Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica).
The official status of the river dolphins, locally known as Shushuk [Platanista gangetica] is “critically endangered” as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a universally recognised index of the world’s endangered animals.