Dugong Conservation park to come up in Palk Bay

The State government on Wednesday issued a Government Order (GO) to establish India’s first Dugong Conservation park in Palk Bay.According to the order, the conservation park will be established in Palk Bay covering the coastal waters of Thanjavur and Pudukkottai district at an area of 448 square kilometres.Dugongs are the largest herbivorous marine mammals in the world thriving primarily on seagrass beds. Conserving dugongs will help to protect and improve seagrass beds and sequestering more atmospheric carbon. Seagrass beds are also the breeding and feeding grounds for many commercially valuable fishes and marine fauna and hence thousands of fisher families directly depend on dugong habitats for their income.The population of dugong is on the decline due to habitat loss and there are only about 240 individuals estimated to be present in the country and the majority is found in Palk Bay.