A dugong was rescued by fishermen at Naripaiyur beach in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram on Saturday, due to the efforts taken by the Tamil Nadu government to involve the local community.
Tamil Nadu has become a forerunner in biodiversity conservation and greening having set up the country's first dugong conservation reserve and slender loris sanctuary, among other initiatives. Chief Minister M K Stalin on 16 November chaired the first meeting of the State Wildlife Board, since the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led government assumed power and said the state would always be a leader in the protecting wildlife as well as in the safeguarding of natural resources.
Additional Chief Secretary Environment Climate Change and Forests of Tamil Nadu, Supriya Sahu, told The Quint that fishermen have been their main watchdogs of the ocean. They have been rewarding the fishermen who cut their nets to rescue dugongs and the villagers who help spread awareness to save lorises.