State PCS

Edit Template
Edit Template

Project Dolphin

Project Dolphin

Project Dolphin is all about protecting the Ganges river dolphins and the environment they live in. The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change in India is supporting this project. The goal is to check on the health of the dolphins and figure out what might be harming them. Then, we’ll come up with a plan to make things better. But it’s not just about the dolphins – by looking out for them, we’re also taking care of their home and all the other creatures that live there, including us humans. Everyone in the community can get involved and help make sure the dolphins and their habitat stay safe.

About Dolphin

  • Dolphins are aquatic ecosystem animals. They can be found in saltwater, brackish water, and fresh water.
  • From Indian waters and coasts, 15 species of marine and harbour dolphins have been reported.
  • Furthermore, Irrawady Dolphins can be found in the brackish waters of Odisha. The Gangetic Dolphin is a freshwater dolphin found in the Ganges River and its tributaries.
  • In addition, Indus River Dolphins have been reported in the Indus River in Punjab.
  • All freshwater, brackish water, and marine Dolphins (Cetaceans) are listed in Schedule-I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, giving them the most protection against hunting.

What is Project Dolphin?

  • Back in 2019, the National Ganga Council, led by the Prime Minister, gave a thumbs-up to an exciting initiative.
  • Project Dolphin is part of Arth Ganga, a big plan the government approved in 2019, and it’s similar to the successful Project Tiger that boosted tiger numbers.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change is set to run Project Dolphin to protect our precious Gangetic dolphins.
  • We really need a special plan for these dolphins since they’re not just cool creatures but also a sign of how well the Ganga River is doing.
  • Gangetic dolphins are like the VIPs of the river – by safeguarding them and their homes, we’re ensuring all the other underwater residents stay happy.
  • The Gangetic dolphin is like the superhero of the Ganga River because it’s at the top of the food chain.
  • If we take good care of these dolphins and their homes, we’re basically securing the entire aquatic gang that calls the Ganga River home.
  • Back in 2016, the National Mission for Clean Ganga started a program to make sure dolphins and their river buddies stick around for the long haul.

    What is the Gangetic Dolphin?

    • The Ganges River Dolphin has been officially recognized as the National Aquatic Animal by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
    • These dolphins are unique because they are blind and can only survive in freshwater environments.
    • To catch their prey, Ganges river dolphins use ultrasonic sounds that bounce off fish, essentially allowing them to create a mental image of their surroundings. Locally, they are known as ‘susu.’
    • Globally, there are around 4,000 Ganges River Dolphins, with nearly 80 percent of them residing in the Indian subcontinent.
    • These dolphins serve as a crucial indicator of the overall health of the river ecosystem.
    • Ganges Dolphins are primarily found in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems across Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
    • Their total population is estimated to be around 2,000 individuals, and they are listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
    • The Ganges Dolphin is part of the ‘Recovery Programme of Critically Endangered Species,’ a significant conservation effort under the ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat’ scheme.
    • There are only four “obligate” freshwater dolphins in the world, and the Ganges Dolphin is one of them. The others include the ‘baiji’ of the Yangtze River, the ‘bhulan’ of the Indus, and the ‘boto’ of the Amazon River.
    • Unlike some marine dolphins that venture into freshwater, these four species exclusively inhabit rivers and lakes.
    • Unfortunately, the Chinese River Dolphin was declared functionally extinct in 2006 by an international team of scientists.
    • In India, the Ganges River Dolphin faces threats such as water pollution, siltation, accidental entanglement in fishing nets, and oil poaching.
    • Human-made structures like barrages and dams are causing populations of Ganges Dolphins to become isolated.
    • Various organizations, including WWF-India in Uttar Pradesh, are actively involved in conservation and reintroduction programs to protect the Ganges River Dolphin.

    Why is it important to save dolphins?

    • Gangetic dolphins could once be seen in the Ganga from its delta in the Bay of Bengal upstream in the Himalayan foothills.
    • It was also discovered in the Ganga’s tributaries.
    • Dolphins were spotted in the Yamuna as far north as Delhi, according to some experts.
    • However, the construction of dams and barrages, as well as increased pollution, have resulted in a decline in the population of aquatic animals in rivers in general, and of dolphins in particular.
    • Aquatic life is an indicator of the health of river ecosystems. Because the Gangetic dolphin is at the top of the food chain, protecting the species and its habitat will ensure the conservation of the river’s aquatic life.

    Threats to Gangetic River Dolphin

    Bycatch Troubles:
    • Both dolphins and people like to hang out in parts of the river where there are lots of fish and the water moves more slowly.
    • But this has led to a problem: there are fewer fish for us to catch, and dolphins accidentally get caught in fishing nets, which can be deadly for them.
    Pollution Issues:
    • The river is in trouble because of things like throwing away plastic bottles and bags, factories putting chemicals in the water, and how we fish.
    • All of this is bad news for dolphins, as it messes up their home and makes it harder for them to find food.
    Poaching Problems:
    • Some people are illegally hunting dolphins for their meat, fat, and oil. They use these parts for things like catching more fish, making medicine, and even believing it can make them more romantic.
    • This is a big issue because it hurts the dolphin population.
    Water Flow Challenges:
    • Building dams and other projects that control water can be a problem for dolphins. They can’t move around as much, leading to issues like inbreeding.
    • Plus, it messes up their food supply because dams get in the way of fish and other things dolphins like to eat.
    Other Dangers Below Dams:
    • Dolphins below dams are in danger because there’s more fishing and boat traffic.
    • Dams also mess up the usual movements and homes of fish and other things dolphins snack on, making it harder for them to survive.

    Steps Taken to Conserve and Protect Dolphins

    National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC): Imagine a special place called the National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) coming up on a 4,400 square meter area at Patna University. This place aims to protect the endangered Gangetic river dolphin.

    Dolphin Sanctuary: Bihar has taken a big step by creating the Vikramshila Ganges Dolphin Sanctuary. It’s like a safe haven for dolphins in the region.

    National Ganga River Dolphin Day: Every October 5, the National Mission for Clean Ganga celebrates National Ganga River Dolphin Day. It’s a day dedicated to these amazing creatures living in the Ganges.

    Conservation Action Plan for the Ganges River Dolphin 2010-2020: From 2010 to 2020, there was a detailed plan to protect Gangetic dolphins. It found out that things like river traffic, irrigation canals, and prey shortage were putting dolphins at risk. The goal was to make sure these threats were addressed.


    Project Dolphins aims to support dolphins living in both rivers and seas, contributing to biodiversity enhancement and job creation. The project involves using advanced technology to observe dolphins and their aquatic habitats, with a focus on counting and preventing poaching. Fishermen and other communities dependent on rivers and oceans will actively participate, with the goal of improving local livelihoods. Additionally, the conservation efforts will include activities to reduce pollution in rivers and oceans, benefitting both dolphins and the environment.

    Read Also: World Water Day 2023 observed today: History, significance, theme and more

              Demo Class/Enquiries

              blog form

              More Links
              What's New
              IAS NEXT is a topmost Coaching Institute offering guidance for Civil & Judicial services like UPSC, State PCS, PCS-J exams since more than 10 years.
              Contact Us
              Social Icon

              Copyright ©  C S NEXT EDUCATION. All Rights Reserved