Subject: QLD: Concern over Dugong slaug (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 14 Jul 1997 15:35:46 -0400 (EDT)

     J. Michael Williamson
 Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
 Associate Professor-Science
 Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
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     "Wrinkles only go where smiles have been"
                  Jimmy Buffett

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 97 00:07:00 GMT 
Subject: QLD: Concern over Dugong slaug

QLD: Concern over Dugong slaughter

   BRISBANE, July 2 AAP - Queensland fishermen were concerned about
reports that 500 adult dugong had been slaughtered for the illegal
export of the meat, Queensland Commercial Fishermen's Organisation
president Ted Loveday said tonight.
   Media reports this week claimed an illegal dugong meat operation
was based near the remote Lockhart River on the eastern side of
Cape York Peninsula.
   Customs officers last year seized 200 tonnes of dugong meat in
the same area. The meat was believed to be ready for shipment to
South-East Asia, he said.
   Mr Loveday said if this week's television reports were accurate
the implications could be serious for the survival of dugong which
is classified as an endangered species and listed as critically
   A joint federal-state task force meeting in Cairns last month
under Environment Minister Senator Robert Hill banned gill net
fishing along stretches of the north Queensland coastline known as
dugong feeding grounds.
   Mr Loveday said: "If the latest allegations are true, hundreds
or even thousands of dugong may have been killed for their meat by
black market poachers."
   He called on the federal and Queensland governments to launch an
immediate investigation.
   Mr Loveday said gill net fishermen faced job losses because of
the netting ban but the sharp decline in dugong numbers in north
Queensland waters may be at least partly due to  illegal poaching.