The dugong or sea cow is a large marine mammal that was almost hunted to extinction. They remain vulnerable to this day due to poaching, drowning in fishing nets, loss of habitat and boat collisions. It was the first marine mammal to become protected by the Philippine law in 1991.
Over the past three months, dugongs have been regularly coming to the calm grass sea beds found around Club Paradise Palawan.
These majestic mermaids are still nervous so it is very important that you stay close to your guide and follow any instruction that they give you. We try our best to encourage them to keep visiting the waters of Club Paradise Palawan. Dugongs have poor eyesight and so they can be spooked easily by sudden movements and loud noises.
They are the only vegetarian marine mammals and they feed entirely on sea grass. They have to eat up to 50 kg of grass a day so observing proper interaction is important so as not to interfere with their feeding habits.
- Only four guests will be allowed in the water with the animal/s at any time (regardless if they are using scuba or snorkeling gear).
- Maintain a five-meter distance at all times from the animal.
- Do not chase the animal/s. If the animal displays avoidant and/or distressed behaviors such as trying to swim away, stop swimming towards them and and do not chasing the animal.
- Do not swim in front of the animal/s, especially if they are on their way to the surface.
- Observe the animal silently. (e.g. calm fin use, no jumping from the boat, no talking in the water)
- Do not touch the animal/s.
- The animal/s should be the one to choose to come close to you. This is not the decision of the guides or tourists.
- Guides and tourists must not cause or act in any manner that may cause an adult dugong and a calf to become separated, or individual dugongs to be separated from the herd.