KIEN GIANG — An illegal trade network of dugongs and other marine species in southern Kien Giang Province's Phu Quoc Island has been detected by Wildlife At Risk (WAR), a HCM City-based non-profit organisation, following reports from local residents.
WAR informed the island's local authority for further investigation and confiscation.
Locals had previously informed WAR that a 100-kg dugong - a large marine mammal species classified as critically endangered in the Viet Nam Red Book and listed as a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red Book - had been killed and sold to local restaurants at a retail price of VND400,000-550,000 (US$19-26) per kilo.
Dugongs are typically hunted for food, traditional medicine or jewellery purposes. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Phu Quoc and Con Dao islands are the only marine places in Viet Nam with a dugong population of less than 100. — VNS