Very few provisions have been made to conserve the dolphins or their habitat. The Irrawaddy dolphin is protected by law in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Direct taking of cetaceans is prohibited in Bangladesh, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. (9). In December 2005, the Department of Fisheries in Myanmar, established a protected area for Irrawaddy dolphins along a 74 kilometre segment of the Ayeyarwady River. Protective measures in the area include requiring fishermen to immediately release dolphins if found alive and entangled in their nets, and prohibiting the trade and catching or killing of dolphins and the use of electricity fishing and gill nets that obstruct the water-course, are more than 300 feet long, or spaced less than 600 feet apart (11). The problem of live captures for the aquarium trade has largely been solved by the uplisting of the species to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which prohibits international trade. Some captive breeding of this species has been successful (2).
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