Seven dugongs had been found dead during the past six months in Thailand's Andaman coastal waters. The causes of death are varied. The latest case is a five-year-old dugong weighing 122 kilogrammes which was found dead at a beach in Trang. According an autopsy, the dugong died of shock when it was caught in the nets of a fishing trawler.
Marine mammal academic Kanchana Adulyanukosol said that there are now only about 200 dugongs left in Thai-Andaman waters and urged the Thai government to protect them.
Currently, Ms. Kanchana said, a master plan to conserve sea cows and seagrass, which was its main diet, was drafted, but has yet been submitted to the Cabinet.
It was believed that if the scheme is implemented, it will help, in a certain extent, to preserve the sea cow population, she said.
Public awareness activities to realise the importance and seriousness of the dugongs' problems is necessary were also recommended, she said.
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