Pakistan’s waters are not friendly for the surrounding sea’s dolphins. At a recent Indus River dolphin awareness event attended by members of the Indus Dolphin Conservation Centre, speakers informed the audience about the harsh conditions the approximately 900 Indus River dolphins have to survive in. Those harsh conditions are created by uninformed and unconcerned people; in other words, the responsibility does not lie with nature and the problems faced by dolphins are largely man-made. The World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF), in partnership with the wildlife department, must do more to protect not only our dolphin species, but also the other creatures that are being harmed by the indiscriminate dumping of waste and introduction of chemicals into our waters, which over the years have already forced the dolphin to undergo evolutionary adaptation, according to the Indus Dolphin Conservation Centre. The species has lost its vision but compensated for the compromised sense with a highly developed sonar system.
With continuous chemical dumping into our rivers by industries and fishermen who seek to harm wildlife for profit, other animal species are also being affected, creating an impact on the entire animal ecosystem. All this pollution will surely catch up with the human race as well as it consumes the fish and other animals exposed to these chemicals. A recent example of attempts at profiteering using natural wildlife involves two Indo-Pacific dolphins, which villagers in Gharo Creek tried to capture and ended up injuring. It is worrying to come across cases where people engage in acts that are unethical, primitive, uncouth and reek of ignorance of the importance of maintaining the aquatic ecosystem. The government, as well as the WWF and the Dolphin Conservation Centre, need to focus their efforts on spreading awareness about the importance of preserving marine life, especially dolphins. In addition, authorities need to implement laws concerning the maintenance of marine life. This is a much-neglected area that needs immediate attention.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2016.