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On the cards, a dolphin breeding hub in Bengal | Kolkata News – Times of India

KOLKATA: A dolphin breeding centre has been planned by the state forest department along the stretch of Ganga between Farakka and Gangasagar which, according to a recent survey by the Wildlife Institute of India, is home to at least 650 Gangetic dolphins.
“Dolphin shows are banned in the country. What we can do is set up a dolphin breeding centre to enhance their number. A detail project report has been prepared and sent to the Union forest ministry for approval. We will start working on the project once it gets approved,” said state forest minister Jyotipriya Mullick
Officials said the proposed breeding centre could be set up close to Garchumuk on the confluence of Hooghly and Damodar, where the forest department is working on a plan to set up a zoo.
Institute spotted 650 dolphins last year between Farakka and Sagar
The Wildlife Institute of India, an autonomous body under the Union ministry of environment and forest, had last year conducted a survey along the Ganga between Farakka and Gangasagar and spotted at least 650 dolphins.
“But not all dolphins rise above the water at the same time and so the exact number could be more,” a forest department official said.
As per the state forest department’s plan, experts would visit the centre to advise on breeding and conservation of dolphins. It would also act as an awareness centre from where campaigns against poaching of dolphins would be initiated by involving local fishermen and villagers. “We have received funds from the Centre to undertake a dolphin conservation project. We have prepared a five-year master plan that has been sent to MoEF,” said a forest department official.
Dolphins have become endangered due to pollution and poaching, say experts. They often get entangled in fishing nets and die. Ship movements also disturb their habitat. A previous study by the Wildlife Institute of India had mentioned that the confluence of Roopnarayan and the stretch of Hooghly between Nakshipara and Ratanghat were rich dolphin habitats.

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