The major threat to the Irrawaddy dolphin is incidental entanglement in gillnets (5) (9), but it is not believed to be at risk of imminent extinction (2). In the Ayeyarwady River it is also at risk from electrocution and prey depletion from electric fishing (10). Other issues affecting this dolphin include increasing pollution, construction of dams and the build-up of silt and sedimentation following severe erosion (2). Fishing with explosives also results in dolphin casualties (4). Most live captures are for the oceanarium trade in Asia (4), and hunting of this species is rare, occurring only in parts of India to harvest oil for the treatment of rheumatism (2).
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