A sad day for the world’s Northernmost Dugong!
The Japanese Dugong has long been revered by native Okinawans as a significant part of their culture and history; in 1955 the Japanese government listed the Okinawa Dugong as a “Natural Monument” under Japan’s “Cultural Properties Protection Law.” Sadly however, on August 6th, 2007, the Japanese Ministry of Environment listed the Okinawa Dugong as “Critically Endangered”… the most severe category before “Extinct.” In a more recent survey (23rd March 2014) Japanese scientists counted only three Dugong surviving in Okinawan waters; two of which are a mother and calf!!
Is this a portent of what could soon happen in Moreton Bay?!
As a consequence The Dugong Collective has today proposed a DNA and insemination programme that, if implemented and successful, may help continue the Okinawan Dugong lineage here in Moreton Bay. This initiative may eventually help reintroduce Dugong into Okinawan waters.
Australia has been battling the Japanese to help whales survive… now let’s work with the Japanese to help Dugong survive.