|A dugong in its natural habitat|
In the Great Barrier Reef, an educational program along with a series of investigations are being put together as a way to combat the illegal poaching of the dugong (a highly aquatic marine mammal also known as a "sea cow"). The idea for the formation of this project involved two incidents: an Australian Navy vessel had found a fishing net with the animals trapped inside, and another by its owners. According to the Barrier Reef authorities, several communities indigenous to the north area have been helping out with the investigations. Dugongs, who are also the eastern relatives of manatees (sea cows of western coastal tropics), are highly endangered and have been hunted for their meat and blubber. They also risk serious injuries and even death when coming into contact with motorboat propellers, or fishing nets.
I'm very happy to see how people living along the Great Barrier Reef are working together as a community to save one of the reef's most magnificent treasures. It is also interesting to see how the native people have also pitched in to help out. Even though they have been living in the area for generations, they have also kept up with the times. This led them to abandon their traditional tactic of fishing by nets. This way, it will help the Barrier Reef's dugong population to flourish along with education and protection.
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