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Brazil plans to stop fishermen killing river dolphins

An Amazon river dolphin. Credit: Reuters

The Brazilian government is to temporarily ban the catching of a type of catfish in the Amazon in an attempt to stop the killing of the Amazonian river dolphin for use as bait, the Associated Press is reporting.

The Ministry of Fishing and Aquaculture is planning a five year halt to fishing of the species of catfish called piracatinga that will start in early 2015.

Numbers of river dolphin in the Amazon have declined sharply since local fisherman began using the flesh of the mammals as bait. It is hoped that an alternative bait will be discovered during the pause in fishing.