Hi, I'm Liam and my family operate an eco-tourism business in Monkey Mia Western Australia specialising in Dugong education and protection. We have been in business for 25 years and are strong advocates to conserve the world's most dense and well protected remaining Dugongs. Shark Bay is home to 10% of the world's population with roughly 10,000!
Unfortunately Dugongs are under threat of extinction in most parts of the world due to polution, hunting, habitat loss and boat strikes!
In 2011 a marine heatwave swept the coast of Western Australia with the water temperature rising to 30 degrees, a marine algae bloom occurred in Monkey Mia which attacked the seagrass, seagrass died, the water turned black, sunlight couldn't penetrate through worsening the affects and maintaining the water at 30 degrees.
We lost roughly 200 square kilometres of seagrass due to this event alone! And 400 square kilometres since 1991.
In the process we lost alot of our 4000 square kilometres of seagrass, in turn this affected our Dugongs population.
Dugongs will not starve themselves to death, if there is not enough food to go around they simply will not breed.
The 4000 square kilometres of seagrass in Shark Bay is also extremely important as its one of the world's largest marine carbon sinks, and extremely important breeding grounds for the Blue Manna Crabs, Tiger Prawns, Squid, numerous fish stocks, Turtles and of course the endangered Dugongs.
As a result, Dugongs being such slow breeders having only one calf every 4 to 5 years, not reaching sexual maturity until 13 years of age and having a 15 month gestation period, we are seeing the knock on affects of this event still today.
So my family and our business are making a stand to re grow the sea grass. We have purchased a $2000 industrial sewing machine among other tooling and equipment for the job.
We then sew hessian sacks (Hessian donated by BLACKWOODS INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES), fill with sand and then closing down our business for days at a time to donate our vessel to lay the sacks giving a stable base to capture seagrass seeds to begin to grow and replenish out precious dugong habitat.
Your donation will ensure the ongoing protection of Dugong habitat in Shark Bay, by allowing us to continue to sew and lay bags and continue our conservation works.
We have a licence to lay 2.5 kilometres (37 tons) of sacks this year however pending further approval and funding intend on this being a long term ongoing project.