Aerial survey of dugong and seagrass, community interviews, and lobbying keeps Malaysian partner busy in Johor

August 22, 2016

MY4 Project Update: Jan thru June 2016

During this reporting period, MareCet conducted different surveys to fill in knowledge gaps for dugongs and seagrass in the project site, including an aerial survey (to which MareCet also invited team members of the Partner, leading MY1), seagrass mapping and dugong feeding trails survey, two community consultation interview surveys to supporting the work on the total economic value of seagrass.

Further to the surveys, MareCet reported to have comprehensive data on distribution of dugongs during different tide phases (high and low tides) and time of year, as well as on seagrass habitats and human activities affecting both, seagrass and dugongs in the project site.

Initial data on the distribution and characteristics of dugong feeding trails and seagrass samples for analyses of nutrient composition and on local community’s perceptions and opinions of dugong and seagrass conservation plans for the Johor east coast islands and adjacent waters were collected.

The Partner had multiple meetings with the Johor state authorities to present and overview of dugong and seagrass scenario around Sibu and Tinggi Islands, the conservation needs for the species and the area, and the way forward to delineate the conservation area and draft its management plan.