An institute in China has begun a survey to collect vital data on the endangered finless porpoise.
The Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute are spending 10 days collecting data in preparation for setting up a reserve in the area.
The small ‘dolphin-like’ finless porpoise is a critically endangered species with only an estimated 1000-1800 left in the wild. It is known for its playful smile and has three subspecies in Bohai and Yellow Sea, South China Sea and China’s Yangtze River, where the population is at its most critical due to threats of pollution, over-fishing and river traffic. Since the 1980s the population number in the Bohai and Yellow Seas has dropped by around 20 percent.
Scientists from the institute started their 10-day survey on the 24th May. They will look at population and distribution of the endangered species in the Bohai and Yellow Seas, as well as collecting data on the temperature, salinity, oxygen levels and pH value of the water, which may impact the distribution of these animals. The data they collect will be used for the protection of finless porpoises in the coastal areas of china, likely by informing policy makers on the current situation of this population and the threats that face them.