JOHOR BAHRU – A dead dugong was found washed ashore at Pantai Tanjung Logok, near Kota Tinggi Friday.
Johor Fisheries Department director, Munir Mohd Nawi said the animal known by its scientific name Dugong Dugon was found by members of the public at about 10 am before they alerted the department.
“After being informed, fisheries officers went to Pantai Tanjung Logok and found a dugong carcass on the beach. It had started to decompose,” he said when contacted.
Munir said dugongs were usually injured and killed after being hit by boat engine blade but the department would wait for a post-mortem to identify the actual cause of dugong’s death.
He said judging from the external conditions, the dugong was believed dead for more than 24 hours.
He said the department had so far been unable to determine where the dugong came from and did not rule out the possibility it was dead much earlier before drifting onto the beach.
Touching on the dugong species, Munir said the Johor state government had allocated RM1 million this year to develop a dugong sanctuary in the area between Pulau Tinggi and Pulau Sibu, near Mersing.
“Under the sanctuary plan, the centre which is expected to start operation this year could accommodate 50 dugongs,” he said.
According to Munir, the Johor Fisheries Department and the Johor state governmment would be developing the area as a sanctuary as it is rich in seaweeds which is a major food source of dugongs. – BERNAMA