On Valentines Day 2013, we travelled to the remote Barangay New Quezon in Busuanga to run a workshop with local fisherfolk to discuss dugongs, their conservation and how local communities can get involved.
The workshop was a great success, with 35 male and female participants who talked with us about the threats to dugongs such as destructive fishing, entanglement in nets and boat collisions. Everyone involved agreed on the urgent need to protect the dugong, a regular visitor to their barangay’s waters.
We also introduced and implemented our local community dugong sighting programme, where local fishers record all sightings of dugong on a large map, displayed prominently in the barangay. We hope that by fully involving local people in dugong conservation, we can ensure a future for this incredible species in Palawan.