A motorcycle rally was held on Monday in Ramanahaputam as part of the Sea Cow Day celebrations. The rally was conducted to spread awareness about the importance of conserving the species.
Ramanathapuram Wildlife Conservator Jagatheespakhansudakar flagged off the rally which has been started from the “APJ Abdul Kalam National Memorial” to the Ramanathapuram Wildlife Warden office. Officers including Indian Coast Guard, and Zonal Forest officers participated in the event.
Sea cows (Dugong) are the most diverse of marine mammal species. The most giant herbivore of marine life, the sea cow is one of the most docile and peaceful marine animals that feed on seaweed.
They are more common in the Indian seas, especially in the Mandapam sea area of Ramanathapuram district, Gulf of Mannar. The people prefer the meat of the manatee. For this, they are hunting them directly. Apart from this, they are also hunted for their skin and fat products.

Factors like ocean pollution and the destruction of sea grasses and marine plants are also responsible for their decline. Some die from entanglement in fishing nets and collisions with fishing boats.
Because of this, they have become scarce to see. This coupled with low reproductive potential has left the dead sea cows in a state of extinction with no means of regeneration over time.
This is why hunting Sea cows is prohibited under the High Conservation of Forest Act. The Forest Department has announced that this year Sea Cow Day will be celebrated from May 22 to May 28. (ANI)