Are you prepared for a future without Irrawaddy dolphins?

Save them now! Before it becomes too late!

The lovely Irrawaddy Dolphin sub-population living in the Ayeyarwady river is critically endangered. The last census counted only about 70 individuals. Rampant electrofishing, pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and habitat destruction are threatening the long term survivals of these rare dolphins in Myanmar. Historical records show that these intelligent dolphins from upper Ayeyarwady river are the only population of Irrawaddy dolphins to help local fishermen to increase their catch by engaging in "Cooperative Fishing", a unique and valuable cultural heritage practiced by local fishing communities along the river for centuries.

In response to the record-high killing of the endangered dolphins by electric fishermen, a public campaign was launched to raise awareness about the importance of this flagship species. Signatures from nature lovers were collected and a petition is submitted to the State Counsellor of Myanmar to increase the level of protection given to the freshwater ecosystems and to apply "Cooperative Fishing" culture as an "Intangible Cultural Heritage" under the UNESCO convention. Meanwhile, required funds were raised from selling dolphin-branded merchandise and the proceeds were used to support the local fishing communities, fighting for the survival of the dolphins.

Save Irrawaddy Dolphins Online Campaign Manifesto

Our Vision

We envision a day when the "Cooperative Fishing" culture between critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and the local fishermen is widely recognized internationally as an "Intangible Cultural Heritage" by UNESCO and cherished by locals as a “National Treasure”. As such, the Myanmar government and the general public together protect the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin with stringent laws and showcase their unique “Cooperative Fishing” culture to the world by promoting ecotourism initiatives in the dolphin’s habitat.

Our Mission

We advocate for the passing of effective legislation for the conservation of the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. We work closely with the Myanmar government, conservation NGOs, and the other relevant stakeholder groups to increase conservation and ecotourism activities, with a view to support Myanmar’s application at UNESCO for “World Natural Heritage Site" status to be given to the Irrawaddy dolphin's habitat.

Our Strategy

  1. Increase awareness among the general public that our national treasures, the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins are worth saving.

  2. With this heightened level of awareness, a petition will be conducted to collect signatures to advocate our unique culture of “Cooperative Fishing” between dolphins and fishermen and the “Dolphin Protected Area” in the Irrawaddy River to be recognized as “World Natural Heritage” by UNESCO

  3. By using this public support, we will demand the government of Myanmar to initiate and successfully complete the application process at UNESCO as soon as possible.

  4. Concurrently running fundraising initiatives on the ground to support local river patrol groups and promote community-based ecotourism initiatives by inviting celebrities, influencers, and key opinion leaders to the dolphin protected area to revive the nearly lost "Cooperative Fishing" culture for the long-term sustainable benefits for the local residents and dolphins alike.

Threats to the Irrawaddy Dolphins

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Petition to request the Myanmar government to apply "World Natural Heritage" status for the "Irrawaddy River Corridor" at UNESCO

The "cooperative fishing" culture between the Irrawaddy dolphins and local fishermen is already recognized in the UNESCO's tentative site list since 2014, the first step towards achieving the official recognition. There is an ongoing petition to request the Myanmar government to complete the application process so that the irrawaddy dolphins from Myanmar can be recognized internationally as a unique cultural heritage of Myanmar.