The Northernmost Dugongs inhabit the coastal waters around Okinawa. Their numbers are estimated to have been reduced to less than 50, raising them to the most highly endangered category in Red Data Book of Okinawa Prefecture and Ministry of the Environment. Although they are listed by the Japanese government as a “Natural Treasure”, the government hasn’t taken any measures to preserve these endangered species. One reason is assumed to be plans to relocate the existing US Futenma Air Station to the coastal area of Henoko which is a major habitat for dugongs.
Our mission is to preserve the environment of Okinawa and save the dugong and restore the population. We also understand the significance of raising awareness among people of the importance of protecting the ecosystem. Since dugongs are voracious herbivores, grazing like cows on the sea grass which grows in shallow waters near the seashore, they are susceptible to human activities such as landfills and pollution. Therefore, the dugong’s future depends on us. We, human beings, hold the key to the dugong’s future.
In cooperation with locals and researchers, we would like to conduct scientific research and consider appropriate measures to protect dugongs. Based on these measures, we would like to request the Japanese government establish a sanctuary and implement ecological management of the area.