New Sub-decree on Mekong Irrawaddy Dolphin Conservation Revoked

Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen this morning announced to revoke the sub-decree on Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin conservation signed on Feb. 27, 2023.

Addressing to the closing and opening ceremonies of training courses of the Royal School of Administration, Samdech Techo Hun Sen underlined that no need to implement this new sub-decree anymore as more dolphins have been found dead and hundreds of local villagers have been banned from fishing in the target areas.

“The new sub-decree signed on Feb. 27, 2023 have to be revoked and the old sub decree signed on Sept. 25, 2012 will be reused instead,” he said.

Samdech Techo Prime Minister stressed that even though the new sub-decree was annulled, strict monitoring of the target areas in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces will continue, especially against the prohibited fishing gear.

As of April 2023, Cambodia registered three births and two deaths of Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins, while in 2022, there were six new calves, but 11 deaths.

The Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are fully protected under Cambodia’s Fisheries Law. The population is ranked as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, the highest international threat ranking for endangered species.

The Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins are a living natural treasure of Cambodia with about 90 individuals currently living along the Mekong River in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.