Cambodian leader U-turns on rare dolphin conservation law

Cambodian leader Hun Sen on Thursday (Apr 27) cancelled a law he created just two months ago to protect critically endangered Mekong dolphins as the mammals continue to die from illegal fishing activities.

The population of Irrawaddy dolphins in the river Mekong has dwindled from 200, when the first census was taken in 1997, to just 89 in 2020 largely due to illegal fishing and habitat loss.

Hun Sen issued a new decree in February creating protection zones in a 120km stretch of the Mekong, in which fishing is banned, following the death of three dolphins in a week.

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