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Current Affairs

Project Dolphin

Date: 06 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

In his Independence Day Speech this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government’s plan to launch a Project Dolphin. The proposed project is aimed at saving both river and marine dolphins.

 

Details

  • Project Dolphin will be on the lines of Project Tiger, which has helped increase the tiger population. Special Conservation program will be taken up for Gangetic Dolphin which is national aquatic animal and also indicator species for the river Ganga spread over several states.

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), which implements the government’s flagship scheme Namami Gange, has been taking some initiatives for saving dolphins.

  • Now, Project Dolphin is expected to be implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.

  • The Gangetic river system is home to a vast variety of aquatic life, including the Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica).

  • The Gangetic dolphin is one of five species of river dolphin found around the world. It is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems.

  • There was a time when Gangetic dolphins could be spotted in the Ganga at several places, from its delta in the Bay of Bengal to upstream in the Himalayan foothills.

  • The construction of dams and barrages, and increasing pollution have led to a decline in the population of aquatic animals in the rivers in general and of dolphins in particular.

  • Aquatic life is an indicator of the health of river ecosystems. As the Gangetic dolphin is at the top of the food chain, protecting the species and its habitat will ensure conservation of aquatic lives of the river.

  • The Gangetic dolphin remains listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.