The National – Monday, July 4th 2011t
By ANCILLA WRAKUALE
GREATER awareness and education are needed to conserve and protect endangered marine species from extinction, journalists have been told.
At the Sea Web fellowship for journalists last Friday, Paul Kauge a second year science student at the Pacific Adventist University, said while in some places like Western, where endangered marine species like the dugong was common for traditional feasts and for protein, “it is important to educate people to minimise domestic harvesting and find alternatives”.
Kauge, who is doing his internship with the Department of Environment and Conservation, said threatened species was a term used to categorise flora or fauna that were either declining in population through forms of pressure: anthropogenic, natural or through economic developments.
Some marine species under threat are sea turtles, whales, dolphins and sharks.
Threatened species come under goal five of the Coral Triangle Initiative that focuses on conservation and sustainability of marine resources.
The initiative plans to improve the status of threatened species, protect their habitats, migratory roots, breeding and foraging areas, as well as funding and exploring research mechanisms.
Threats towards the endangered marine species include increase in human population, economic growth, unsustainable fishing practices, habitat conservation, pollution, climate change and overfishing.
Rogana Yandit, a second year science student, said there should be frequent monitoring and update of threatened species to help save these species from extinction.
The marine programme officer at the Department of Environment and Conservation, Ronald Gumaira, said the initiative “is a new multi-lateral partnership aimed at sustainable management of the marine and coastal biological resources of the coral triangle region that comprises Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, PNG and Solomon Islands”.