[MARMAM] No Official Irrawaddy Dolphin PA in Myanmar

Tint Tun tinttun at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 08:28:29 PST 2007


It has been found in some websites, referring to the Wildlife Conservation
Society (WCS) website, that a Protected Area for the Irrawaddy dolphin is
established in Myanmar by the government.

According to the Chapter IV, Article 8(a) of the "The Protection of Wildlife
and Protected Areas Law (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No.
6/94)" enacted on the 8th. June, 1994, signed by the Senior General Than
Shwe, Chairman of the then State Law and Order Restoration Council, the
minister for Forestry may in any area, with the approval of the Government
and for the purpose of the objective of this Law, by notification if

(i) designate protected areas according to the categories;

(ii) establish zoological gardens and botanical gardens.

In the Chapter 8, "Duties and Powers of the Director General", of the
"Freshwater Fisheries Law (The State Law and Restoration Council Law No.
1/91)", enacted on 4th March, 1991, signed by Senior General Saw Maung,
Chairman of the then State Law and Order Restoration Council, it is
described in Article 22, Section (c) that "determining the prohibited
species of fish, size, fishing season, place, fishing implement and method
of fishing" as a duty of the the Director General of Department of

On 28th. December 2005, practicing the above mentioned duties and powers
under Article 22 of the "Freshwater Fisheries Law",  a notification, No.
11/2005,  signed by Khin Ko Lay, Director, Department of Fisheries, for the
Director General, was issued by the Department of Fisheries to prohibit the
catching fish using with the –

(1) gillnet obstructed in waterway;

(2) gillnet stretched from bank to bank of the river;

(3) drift net longer than 300 feet; and

(4) fishing implements and fishing methods that prohibited by the Department
of Fisheries from time to time

in the Ayeyawady river, starting from the points of Sagaing Division, Shwebo
District, Kyaukmyaung Township, in front of Yae Daw Pagoda (Latitude
22.60903°N; Longitude 95.94280°E) and Mandalay Division, Pyin Oo Lwin
District, Singu Township (Latitude 22.61039°N; Longitude 95.94774°E) to the
points of Sagaing Division, Mingun mountain range, in front of Baw Di Ta
Htaung Pagoda (Latitude 22.03937°N; Longitude 96.02235°E) and Mandalay
Division, Mandalay city, Nan Daw Kyun point (Latitude 22.03831°N; Longitude
96.03477°E) in order to safeguard and prevent the extinction of Ayeyawady

The notification also stipulated that-

fishermen shall make a gap more than 600 feet between net by net, which are
not the prohibited implement;

the catching or killing of Ayeyawady dolphins and trade in whole or parts of
them is also prohibited and in the case of accidentally caught by fishing
net, fishermen shall release them alive without delay.

According to the above mentioned Laws and notification, it is quite clear
that only the Minister for Forestry has authority to establish a Protected
Area and it, maybe, wrongly sighted to the notification No. 11/2005 by the
Department of Fisheries as a notification for the establishment of the
Protected Area for the Irrawaddy dolphins.

Therefore, Protected Area for the Irrawaddy dolphins has not been officially
established and existed in Myanmar till today.

Tint Tun

Marine Biologist

Union of Myanmar

email:  tinttun at gmail.com

cetaceanmm at mail4u.com.mm
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