After the success of Project Tiger and Project Elephant, India will now launch Project Dolphin to protect the dolphins found in its rivers and oceans. The decision to launch Project Dolphin was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech from Red Fort today, according to a report by news agency PTI.
Dolphins, which sit at the apex of the water-based ecosystem, are indispensable for the overall health of rivers and other aquatic species. The count of dolphin fish like ‘Susu’ is also considered an indicator of the overall health of the water-based ecosystem.
According to the Environment Ministry, the development would give an impetus to the conservation efforts of the species by empowering various stakeholders, including the river-dependent population to take measures for its protection including sustainable fishing with scientific methods. It will be a 10-year long-term project, PTI quoted the Environment Ministry officials as saying.
Apart from being present in large rivers like the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, the species is also found in the small tributaries of these rivers like Chambal, Son, Ghandak, Ghaghara, Kosi among others. The geographical regions where dolphins are regularly sighted spans the whole Northern plains formed by the Ganga and Brahmaputra that covers Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand among others. The species is also found in India’s neighbouring countries including Nepal and Bangladesh due to the wide expanse of the rivers.
According to the official figures quoted by PTI, there are around 3700 Dolphins in the Indian River systems. The Project Dolphin will also aid the ongoing Namami Gange Mission of the Modi government which aims to cleanse the Ganga river system.