Dolphin conservationists locked in seesaw struggle_Local—China Economic Net
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Dolphin conservationists locked in seesaw struggle
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2011-08-13 13:00

Refusing to reveal more details, Wang said that the ecological park would involve an investment of 1.5 billion yuan (about 234.74 million U.S. dollars) in total.

Local residents are also not passionate about the plan. Li Qingzhong, a farmer from the township's village of Zhenjiang, said "if the Yangtze River Dolphins move in, we can no longer go fishing or swim in the river. Business development would also be limited."

Another villager surnamed Wang said "the Xijiang River is the source of our drinking water. Who knows if it would be damaged by the construction of a reserve?"

Echoing the public's views, Wang Wenyou said "we are not resisting the Yangtze River Dolphins, but facilitating the growth of our local economy is a pressing task for Haikou Township."

With a total population of 50,000, the small town raked in just 10 million yuan (about 1.56 million U.S. dollars) in fiscal revenues last year, Wang Wenyou said.

" is important to let the species survive. But from the stance of the township government, it is more important to raise the living standard of the residents," he said.

Only seven kinds of freshwater porpoises have been found in the world's tropical and sub-tropical rivers, according to a report issued last September by the WWF.

Many of the dolphins are struggling to survive, as they must contend with water pollution, heavy boat traffic, fishing, the construction of water conservancy projects and industrial development, the report said.

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