Chinese white dolphins living in Southeast Asian countries face threats from fishing spears, habitat degradation and the overfishing of their food supply. These beautiful and intelligent creatures are also sensitive to water pollution, noise, and waste resulting from construction off Asian coastlines.
Chengdu Gaoxin Yiyu Community Development Research Centre collaborated with Shandong University and the Conservation International China Programme (CIC) in August 2013 to help conserve Chinese white dolphins by building a marine protected area (MPA) network in Southeast Asian countries. The Yvonne L. K. Lui Foundation has historically taken a great interest in marine conservation, and thus has sponsored the project via Conservation International.
Together they created a baseline survey and research report of Chinese white dolphins in Southeast Asian countries, from which regional governments were notified of the amazing wildlife in their waters. From there, a pilot project in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, one of the most important dolphin corridors in Chinese coastal waters for Chinese dolphins, was introduced. The project reduced fishing in the area and provided training workshops to marine nature reserve staff in the region to improve their understanding and presence in MPAs.
An official document entitled “Dolphin Watching Guidelines” was created by Conservation International’s leading scientists. Applying the expertise of Conservation International, their guidelines will be used as reference for dolphin watching business practitioners throughout Southeast Asia, thus enabling the dolphins, locals and visitors alike to receive a long-term benefit from this joint initiative.