Who Will Save the River Dolphin?


I’m working for the Tropical Dolphin Research Foundation, based at the moment out in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, filming a documentary on a population of Ganges River Dolphins around the UNESCO national park in the region.

The documentary focuses on four young conservation biologists doing everything they can to save the maybe 1000 Ganges River Dolphins left in the wild. The dolphins face many problems including water pollution, sound pollution preventing them from hunting, getting caught in nets and drowning and being persecuted by fishermen.
Farhana Ahktar (Education coordinator for Cetacean Diversity Project in Bangladesh) Sits for an interview about the struggles she faces staying in conservation biology.
Subhasis Dey (center) (research associate with dolphin lab in Bhalglapur, India) talks with fishermen about their observations on the river.
Ganges dolphin researchers (Dr. Sunil Choudhary and Subhasis Dey) from NE India.
Manish Datta (left) (graduate student Khulna University, Bangladesh) talks to fellow students about his work between classes.
Gopal Khanal (student Nepal) prepares for a meeting with villagers about least destructive fishing methods.
However whilst filming was taking place, as you may have heard, an oil tanker crashed in Shela River, off the Sundarbans, spilling over 75’000 gallons of crude oil into the national park.
oil ship
Its hugely important that we got this documentary produced as we investigate the government’s response to the crisis, such as asking local to clean it up themselves for the government to sell back to the Pamda Oil Company.
oil kid oil kids
oil people
oil line
The mangrove ecosystem is tidal, and the roots of the trees actually need to be exposed to air in order to breathe, so the layer of oil is effectively suffocating the trees in badly affected areas.
birddead dolphin
First dead dolphin spotted- not sure of the species, but its undeniable that this is already having a severe impact on animal populations here at the UNESCO National Park.
TDRF has set up an Indiegogo campaign to fund this production and see it through filming in the region and need all the help we can get to come close to our target.
Ganges River Dolphin
ganges dolphin fishermen
Please watch the trailer and make a donation to the project. All donations will go toward the film, so even if we don’t meet our target in time, there will still be funding for the production of the documentary. So Please let us make this documenary happen, as this is a very important story.

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