WIOMSA Symposium 2022: Dugong Special Session

The CMS Dugong MOU, in partnership with African Parks and the Marine Megafauna Foundation, organized a Special Session at the WIOMSA 12th Scientific Symposium.

(South Africa, October 2022)

Entitled, ‘Progressing Dugong & Seagrass Conservation in the Western Indian Ocean Special Session‘, the session brought together experts and government representatives from the region to identify research and management priorities as an important step to ensuring the survival of this critically endangered, iconic and charismatic marine mammal.

Historical information suggests that dugongs (Dugong dugon) were once widely distributed and relatively abundant throughout most of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), ranging from southern Somalia to southern Mozambique as well as many of the Indian Ocean islands. Today, dugongs are listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable to extinction globally, and a recent assessment identifying the East African coastal subpopulation as Critically Endangered has recently been submitted to the IUCN Red List.

The Special Session Report details discussions, recommendations and next steps identified during the meeting.