5th October 2022
Healthy aquatic environments contribute to the planet's overall well-being. Dolphin conservation would therefore help ensure the survival of the species and the humans who depend on the aquatic ecosystem for their way of life. Dolphins are the ideal ecological markers of a healthy aquatic ecosystem. On August 15, 2020, the “Project Dolphin” was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to include both river dolphins and marine dolphins in its conservation program. Because of the significance of dolphins, 5th October is declared as “National Dolphin Day” to be observed annually to raise awareness for dolphin conservation.
ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore commemorated ‘National Dolphin Day’ at four different places in West Bengal namely Farakka, Nabadwip, Tribeni, and Balagarh on the bank of river Ganga under Namami Gange Program today
Dr. Basanta Kumar Das, Director of ICAR-CIFRI and Principal Investigator of the NMCG project, stressed that India's waters are home to about 30 species of marine mammals, including river dolphins. The Gangetic River dolphin (Platanista gangetica) lives only in the Ganga-Brahmaputra systems, while the Indus River dolphin (Platanista minor) is only found in the Indus system, which includes the Sutlej, Ravi, and Beas rivers. He emphasised the Gangetic dolphin's importance as an indicator species for the Ganga ecosystem, whose vulnerability to changes in water quality and flow offers information on the general condition of the ecosystem and other species in that ecosystem.
On this occasion, more than 200 personnel including active fishers, social workers, and students residing on the banks of the river participated in the programme.
(Source: ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore)