Thai marine biologist pleads for dugong conservation plan

A top marine biologist has urged Thailand’s government to speed up conservation plans for the dugong, an imperiled sea mammal, after their death toll for the year in Thai waters has already climbed to a record 21.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat said on his Facebook page that the carcass of a dugong was found Tuesday off the southern province of Krabi. The young female apparently drowned after being caught in a fishing net, a common threat to the animals.

Experts believe only 250 dugongs are left in Thai waters.

Thon, who has served on a government environment and development committee, says a three-year master plan for dugong conservation is awaiting Cabinet approval.

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Busaba Sivasomboon