Updated: Sep 10
by Srijit Banerjee
31st August 2020
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a new ‘Project Dolphin' on the 74th Independence Day, claiming it will create employment opportunities and boost biodiversity. The ambitious project primarily focuses on the conservation of Gangetic river dolphins, creating more jobs in the process. The river dolphin was named the national aquatic species of India in 2010.
Dolphins can be found primarily in Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers
(Source: The Financial Express)
“We will focus on both types of dolphins living in the rivers and in the seas. This will also give a boost to biodiversity and create employment opportunities. This is also a centre of attraction for tourism. So, we are going to move forward in this direction too,” Modi had said. The river dolphins are a type of freshwater dolphins that are primarily found in the tributaries of Ganga and Brahmaputra that flow through India, Nepal and Bangladesh. These freshwater dolphins have also been declared endangered and their conservation may prove to be essential.
These dolphins are mostly sighted in the long and deep river reaches of India which are mostly present in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The official figures of the government states that about 3.700 Gangetic river dolphins are still alive in the Indian river systems. Since river dolphins are synonymous to a healthy river ecosystem, conserving them would also ensure that the pollution in the river is better controlled and would subsequently mean a positive change in the fishing industries in the areas. It will be increasing the availability of fish and enhancing economies of local communities through sustainable fishery, the ministry said.
The ambitious project seeks to conserve the species of freshwater dolphins and control the overall river pollution problem that has been prevalent in the country. The project through the control of pollution aims at a sustainable growth in the quality of fresh water fish, creating a boost in the fishing sector of the country. The Prime Minister’s announcement of the project has been a major support to the environmental ministry of India, as said by Prakash Javadekar, the Union Environment Minister.
Sources: Financial Express, The Statesman, The Economic Times
Edited by Hrishit Roy