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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 August 20 - 26  > Nature conservation NGO calls for survey of dugong feeding grounds in Henoko
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2014 August 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Nature conservation NGO calls for survey of dugong feeding grounds in Henoko

August 20, 2014
The Nature Conservation Society of Japan (NACS-J) on August 19 published a statement criticizing the U.S. military for refusing to cooperate in a biological survey of dugong feeding grounds in the sea around the construction site for a new U.S. base in Okinawa.

Seabed drilling surveys are currently underway in the Henoko coastal area of Nago City, proceeding the construction of alternative military facilities to the U.S. Futenma base (Ginowan City). Accordingly, the nearby waters are now temporarily off-limits.

Late last month, NACS-J applied for permission to enter the sea area assigned to the U.S. forces in Japan in order to carry out a survey of dugong feeding traces to determine the extent of the habitat of this rare mammal. The U.S. military, however, denied the NGO access to the no-entry zone.

Contrary to an environment impact assessment (EIA), it was found out that dugongs frequently stop by the planned landfill site for meals.

NACS-J in its statement argued that it is necessary to conduct a valid scientific study of the dugong feeding habitat and that the military authorities should allow exploratory access to the restricted sea area.

The NGO requested that the U.S. forces in Japan respond to this issue in accordance with the U.S. standards dealing with animals on endangered lists.
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