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» 05/08/2013
HONG KONG
Pink dolphin facing extinction from pollution in China's southern sea
One of Hong Kong's main tourist attractions, the sea mammal has seen its numbers drop by half between 2003 and 2011. Environmental organisations launch an appeal to raise awareness in government circles and among residents.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, which fights to protect endangered species, has released data for the pink dolphins. Estimated at 158 in 2003, the number of the rare mammal stood at 78 in 2011, a drop of about 50 per cent in eight years. The dolphins are a popular local tourist attraction.

An image provided by the Society shows pink dolphins playing in waters off Lantau, Hong Kong on June 7, 2011. Two weeks ago, a tour guide from Hong Kong Dolphinwatch spotted a group of pink dolphins helping a grieving mother support the body of her dead calf above the water in an attempt to revive it. The scene, captured on video and widely shared on Facebook, has raised fresh concerns among local environmentalists about the dwindling population.

"It is up to the government and every Hong Kong citizen to stand up for dolphins," said Samuel Hung, chairman of the society. "We risk losing them unless we all take action."

Shipping and habitat destruction are the greatest threat to the species. Pollution is another problem. "We're 99 per cent certain the calf died from toxins in the mother's milk, accumulated from polluted seawater," said Hong Kong Dolphinwatch spokeswoman Janet Walker.

Fewer than 2,500 of the mammals survive in the Pearl River Delta, the body of water between Macau and Hong Kong, with the majority found in Chinese waters and the rest in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, an unprecedented number of dolphin beachings continues to baffle scientists. Some experts believe the latter may be caused by naval sonar exercises.

The dolphins, a population of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin species, are listed as "near-threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


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See also
04/19/2007 CHINA – HONG KONG
Chinese White Dolphin in danger
06/09/2006 HONG KONG
Pollution causes 1,600 deaths per year
07/23/2007 HONG KONG
Hong Kong’s sky “a little more blue”
06/11/2008 HONG KONG – CHINA
Air pollution kills 10,000 people in Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong
11/05/2004 HONG KONG - CHINA
Air pollution costs a billion dollar per year

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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