The Indo hump-backed dolphin, or Chinese White Dolphin lives in tropical and temperate coastal waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Their range includes waters near Sanniang Bay and Hong Kong. They can grow to nine feet long and weigh over 500 pounds. Their population status is near threatened. The Chinese White Dolphins living in waters Sanniang Bay, near Quinzhou have had a habitat which is shared with humans, but has been in a somewhat natural state. The dolphins have become famous in the area and even have a hotel named after them.
Now there are plans to build oil refineries, iron and steel works, paper mills and petrochemical plants on the land right next to their habitat. Billions of dollars have been invested to begin construction of 84 projects, and to continue nearly 200 more. The local government has assured they can industrialize the area while conserving the dolphins. However, in the last several decades the dolphin populations have already started to decline, from about twenty communities to five. In coastal areas where there has been an increase in industrial activity, local dolphin populations have declined.
Sanniang Bay is also a large tourist destination, because of its access to nature and the remaining dolphins. Plans are also being made to increase tourism, even though since 2008 about 1,000,000 tourists have visited each year. A fisherman who was born in the area, and makes his living from the local waters said, “There were a lot more dolphins years ago in Sanniang Bay.” (Source: Xinhaunet.com)
Conservation efforts are also being made to protect the remaining dolphins in the Hong Kong area which is known for its very high commercial shipping activity and pollution. Bluevoice.org describes the Hong Kong dolphin habitat, “industrial and agricultural runoff and untreated human sewage,” and says there are only about 1,400 left there. It could be that the dolphins of Sanniang Bay will face the same conditions once industrialization has taken over.
Image Credit: takoradee