Trans-boundary dolphin conservation

Dolphin project, Koh Kong

Project title: Trans-boundary dolphin conservation along the coastline of Thailand and Cambodia

Location: Trat Province, Thailand and Koh Kong Province, Cambodia

Duration: 2015 – 2016

Project background: Many dolphin populations globally are under threat from a variety of human activities, including destructive fishing gear, pollution, habitat destruction, overfishing and climate change. In the trans-boundary area along the Thai-Cambodian border, dead dolphins have been found repeatedly in recent years. Urgent action is needed to protect the remaining dolphin populations in this area.

Trat Province in Thailand and the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent areas in Koh Kong Province in Cambodia, are recognised for their healthy mangrove forest and complex marine and coastal resources. Local communities rely heavily on natural resources, both for fisheries in territorial waters and small-scale near-shore fisheries. Trat has also been promoted in Thailand as a tourist destination and a gateway to Cambodia.

Objectives of the project: The project aims to enhance protection of the remaining populations of four dolphin and porpoise species in their marine habitat along the Thai-Cambodian border.

The project targets main threats to dolphin populations by improving fishing practices, addressing habitat degradation and pollution, strengthening local dolphin conservation networks and sharing local knowledge and experience on dolphin conservation. It also aims to link dolphin conservation to sustainable local livelihoods by developing ecotourism and other livelihood opportunities.

Expected outputs:

  • Improved practices of local fishing communities, including enhanced spatial planning that identifies dolphin conservation areas
  • Research and surveys conducted on dolphin populations, migration patterns, causes of death, and threats to their habitats
  • Strengthened local dolphin conservation networks in Trat, Thailand, as well as in the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent areas in Cambodia
  • Knowledge and experience on dolphin conservation and coastal livelihoods shared with local communities, enhancing their capacities to support dolphin conservation efforts
  • An appropriate dolphin watching tourism pilot developed through collaboration with local administrations to ensure its sustainability

Donor: Swedish Postcode Lottery

Partners: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources of Thailand; Ministry of Environment of Cambodia; Fishery Administration of Cambodia; provincial and local Administrations. 

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