Female dugong found dead from illegal fishing nets in Krabi

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

In a tragic event marking the fourth dugong death caused by fishing equipment this year, a female dugong was discovered dead this morning, entangled in a crab fishing net off Ao Nang Beach, in Krabi Province.

The incident was reported by a local tour boat operator who spotted the floating carcass approximately 600 metres from the shore. Staff from the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park retrieved the body and brought it back to the park’s headquarters.

Upon examination, it was found that nylon rope and a fishing net had tightly wound around the base and tip of its tail. This entanglement rendered the dugong unable to swim to the surface for air, leading to death by drowning.

Dugongs need to surface for air every three to five minutes. No signs of external injuries were found on the dugong’s body.

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The dugong measured 210 centimetres in length, with a body circumference of 130 centimetres and a tail base circumference of 46 centimetres. It weighed approximately 200 kilogrammes. This dugong’s death adds to a growing list of marine animals suffering from the impacts of fishing practices in the region.

Head of the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, Yutthaphong Damsrisuk, highlighted that the area where the dugong was found is a crucial feeding ground for these animals.

“The national park has clear regulations to protect dugongs and their seagrass habitats, including a ban on all fishing activities in these areas.

“Despite these measures, individuals continue to illegally place crab nets in these protected zones, leading to tragic outcomes for endangered species.”

The national park has implemented strict measures to conserve dugongs and their habitats, including prohibiting all fishing activities in seagrass areas and banning the hunting of protected wildlife. However, illegal fishing activities persist, posing a significant threat to the endangered dugong population.

The relevant officials have documented the incident and collected evidence to file a report with the Ao Nang Police Station. An investigation is underway to identify and prosecute those responsible for the illegal fishing activities. The dugong’s carcass has been sent to the Andaman Sea Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre for a detailed autopsy, reported KhaoSod.

The recurring deaths of dugongs in Krabi and Phang Nga provinces have raised concerns among conservationists and local officials. Known for their gentle nature, they are key species in maintaining healthy seagrass beds, which are vital for the marine ecosystem.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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