- Thailand Addresses Loss of 50% of Coral Reefs
- Cambodia Creates Haven for Critically Endangered Dolphins
- Green Heron Displays Adept Fishing Skills
The director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) has announced his department will be increasing their conservation efforts for Thailand’s coral reefs, more than 50 percent of which have been ravaged by destructive fishing, pollution, and other human activities. At one time coral reefs flourished along all of Thailand’s coastline, but the only truly healthy reef systems that remain to day are within national parks, which are closed to human activity every year from May to November to allow them time to recover from the pressures of tourism. PMBC is working with fishermen in a number of programs, one of which purchases old nets to save them from being discarded at sea. They are also working with tourists to encourage them to wear life jackets when snorkeling, and keep their fins away from the corals. The director made sure to point out that coral conservation takes the participation of all those in the community in order to be successful.
The Cambodian government announced a new Irrawaddy dolphin conservation area that will span over 100 miles of the Mekong River where the critically endangered freshwater species lives. The government estimates the Irrawaddy population to be 155-175, but a World Wildlife Fund survey found a number closer to 85, making this population in very real danger of extinction. Fishing will still be allowed within the Irrawaddy conservation area, but floating houses, fish cages, and gill nets will be banned due to their risk of entanglement, the leading cause of death for Irrawaddy dolphins.
Patience is key in fishing, as any savvy angler will tell you, and no one knows this better than the green heron. Watch as it uses a clever bait and cast method to land a keeper: