Interview: Zheng Ruiqiang and the dolphins of Shantou

In this exclusive video, we talk to scientist Zheng Ruiqiang about the dangers facing China’s small populations of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins

A group of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins swim in Shantou harbour (Image: Zheng Ruiqiang)

Zheng Ruiqiang is a marine biologist based at Shantou University in southern China. He’s been studying Indo-Pacific humpbacks for the past ten years. Often referred to as the Chinese white dolphin, the species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List. The populations that still survive along China’s busy coastline are particularly threatened, despite their importance in Chinese culture as a “treasure of the sea”. Since moving to Shantou University in 2017, Zheng has been focusing his research on the small group of dolphins that live in the harbour’s shallow waters. He knows each individual well: one is missing most of its tail after a ship strike, another has lost both of the two calves she’s given birth to over the past few years. In this interview, Zheng shares his concerns for the group’s future and the measures needed to protect them.

Production credits:

Directed by Yao Dewei
Filmed by Li Zengchang
Edited by Bonnie Au
Produced by Lizi Hesling
Camera assistant: Yuan Xiangfa
Lighting: Chang Liming
Driver: Xi Tao

Thanks to:

The Hong Kong Ocean Park Conservation Foundation &
The Paradise International Foundation

Copyright notice:

This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence. Should you wish to share or make use of it, please respect the terms of this licence.

For a free copy please contact us: [email protected]. A clipreel of the footage is also available on request.