LAHORE - World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) has shown serious concern over the killing of at least two Indus river dolphins near Ghazi Ghat Bridge in Dera Ghazi Khan and has asked the authorities to take punitive action against the perpetrators.

It has also called for enhanced coordination among the relevant government departments and other stakeholders.

According to the experts, the dolphin mortality may have been caused by the mammals entangled in fishing nets at least 10 days ago. The organization was informed about the incident from the local community and has investigated the issue.

WWF-Pakistan and Punjab Wildlife Department team surveyed an area of around four kilometres upstream of Ghazi Ghat along the Indus River. The team recovered bones and partially decomposed bodies of two dolphins, which confirmed the mortality. It was estimated that this incident probably had took place more than 10 days ago.

The Indus river dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) is an endangered species and receives global importance due to its conservation status. It is one of the only four freshwater dolphin species in the world and greater efforts are required to safeguard its future. It is currently facing multiple threats which include unsustainable fishing and entanglement incidences; canal stranding and release of untreated industrial effluents to the river. WWF-Pakistan demanded enhanced surveillance of canals on closure, monitor entrapment of dolphins in disconnected water pools in low water/dry season, increased vigilance by the Fisheries Department over the use of illegal nets and capacity building sessions for fishermen.