Marine conservation law tightened as more endangered sea animals die

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TRANG, 22 March 2013  A working group comprising fisheries officials and local leaders has been set up in the southern province of Trang to ensure strict enforcement of the marine conservation master plan after the number of protected marine animals killed keeps rising every year. They include seacows (dugongs), dolphins and sea turtles. 

The move was resulted from a recent meeting of officials from the Phuket Marine Biological Center, Fisheries Department officials, NGO representatives and leading members of the fishing sector in Trang.

Last year 11 seacows were found dead in the sea off Trang province, the highest number in 20 years. An aerial survey in early 2012 showed only 110-135 seacows remained in the area, down from 150 found at the start of 2011. According to the Phuket-based marine center, about 95 per cent of seacows found dead on beaches were proved to die from suffocation after being entangled in lengths of fishing net.

Sea cows are herbivorous aquatic mammals. There are only four species of sea cows left in the world, and all of them are vulnerable to extinction