gangetic dolphin Dolphin hunting banned in BiharThe rare Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica) has been declared National Aquatic Animal of India. A few days after the formal declaration, which took place at a National Ganga River Basic Authority meeting in New Delhi earlier this week, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar announced that he has directed state authorities to put a halt to dolphin hunting in the Ganga.

A close watch is being kept on the ghats of river Ganga by the magistrates, police officials and block development officers to stop hunting and fishing of the mammals,” senior officials said.

Patna District Magistrate J K Sinha said that instructions from chief minister has been passed
to senior officials, including sub-divisional officers, magistrates, police officers and block development officers to ensure close surveillance and act swiftly to stop hunting of the aquatic animal.

Schools will take steps to aware the students about the gangetic dolphin which would

boost eco-tourism in the region,” he added.

Although the Wildlife Protection Act of India mandates dolphin conservation as a priority, little has been done at the government level to implement or enforce the law.

Where is Bihar?

Bihar is an Indian state located in the eastern part of the country. It is bordered by Nepal to the north, Jharkhand to the south, Uttar Pradesh to the west, and West Bengal to the east. The state is bisected by the Ganga River which flows through the middle of the state from west to east.

What is Ganga?

Outside India, the Ganga River is more commonly known as the Ganges River.

What is the Gangetic dolphin?

Ganges River Dolphin Dolphin hunting banned in BiharThe Gangetic dolphine, also known as Ganges dolphin, Ganges river dolphin, Blind dolphin, and Side-swimming dolphin, is a dolphin endemic to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. Its scientific name is Platanista gangetica and it is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The current population consists of 1,200-1,800 individuals, and roughly half of these are found in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

It is referred to as the Blind dolphin due to its poor eye-sight which is probably an adaptation to the murky waters of the Ganga River.