Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year 2007...year of the dolphin!

The United Nations has officially declared 2007 the Year of the Dolphin to help raise awareness about the plight of the mammal around the world. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said threats faced by dolphins are on the rise, such as entanglement in fishing nets, marine pollution, starvation caused by over-fishing and noise disturbance.

The UNEP teamed up with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) and tourist operator TUI to run the campaign throughout 2007. The group said it plans to involve governments, conservation groups and the private sector around the world to highlight the need to protect dolphin species. The campaign launch follows the announcement by scientists at the end of last year that the baiji or Yangtze River dolphin from China is now extinct.

Experts said that several other species, including the Irrawaddy dolphin found in sub-tropical waters, face a similar fate. 'As we enter this New Year, dolphins are facing more threats than ever before,' said the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society in its statement. 'Now with Year of the Dolphin, we have a unique opportunity to turn over a new leaf in dolphin conservation, and join together to secure a future for these magnificent animals.'

The Year of the Dolphin 2007 Campaign was officially launched by its patron Prince Albert of Monaco. For more information see the campaign website or the WDCS website

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"