Yangtze finless porpoise faces extinction in 15 years

Lin Liyao
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, August 17, 2010
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The Yangtze River finless porpoise population is declining by 5 percent every year, said Wang Ding, deputy director of the Institute of Hydrobiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in an interview with the Beijing News published on August 15. He added that they may become extinct in the next 15 years.

No more than 1,500 Yangtze finless porpoise remain today. There were 1,800 four years ago. Wang said the main reason for their decline is human activity that makes the environment worse, such as dredging vessels, pollution and water conservation projects. He also said illegal fishing and bad fishing methods contributed to many porpoise deaths, through nets and propellers.

Wang said the best way to save the animals is to implement a 10-year fishing ban on the Yangtze River.

"A 10-year fishing ban is not only good for the finless porpoise, but would also protect fish resources of the whole river," Wang said.

He noted that such a ban would affect the local economy, so resettling fishermen and transferring them to other industries will be the most difficult challenges.

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