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An update on our Dugong and Manatee friends

An update on our Dugong and Manatee friends

With your help, K4 Fins has been happy to contribute towards urgent conservation efforts with Dugongs and Manatees.

We recently heard about new problems facing populations of Manatees in Florida which have amplified our concerns about the struggle of these species. 

In the first three months of 2021, more manatees have been found dead in Indian River Lagoon  than in the whole of 2020. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported a total of 649 deaths for this short period, leading this to be declared an Unusual Mortality Event which means the situation can be investigated and action taken to help prevent more manatees from dying.

It is currently thought that the reason for the manatee deaths is pollution causing the decline in seagrass habitat leaving manatees short of food and starving as a result is one of the main factors, along with boat strikes and cold stress as other reasons. 

Sirenian International tell us that “The seagrass situation in Florida is currently being evaluated by multiple agencies. It is difficult to assess the magnitude of the problem to manatees or how this will affect them in upcoming months.”

How you are helping us to help save Dugongs and Manatees

The dugong is threatened with extinction

When we first decided to make our weed fin and honour the dugong with its name and design, we learnt a lot about the plight of these slow-moving, weed-munching endangered Sirenians. The fins launched in July 2020.

K4 Fins are trying to help these shallow water-loving, weed-eating friendly sea friends by giving a donation to help conservation efforts globally and by helping to raise awareness of the plight of them at the hands of human activity.

“We wanted to help the dugongs and manatees because as keen water lovers we see our fellow animals in the water struggling more and more. We care about the animals we share our seas with and we love seeing them in the water with us. While seaweed is a problem for windsurfing, that is something that’s easier to deal with than the catastrophic environmental problems we are facing, and so even if we can help a little, that makes us feel a little bit happier.”

– Steve Thorp.

An update from Sirenian International

“COVID has curtailed a lot of our activity but we do have some good news to report.

We are currently going through a transition/merger with Mote Marine Aquarium based in Sarasota, Florida. Mote has a manatee program and I will be doing a lot of research projects on Sirenians under their institution.

We are planning a research expedition to Mexico in June to study the Antillean manatee. We are also considering buying low-cost hydrophones to place in the Amazon to study the Amazonian manatee. Your donation will help our research efforts for these understudied species.

I also have a manuscript about behavior-related manatee vocalizations that is currently under peer review.“

Beth Brady

And so given all these issues, and the end of the financial tax year, we thought now was a good time to tot up the numbers from the first sales of the Dugong fins and send over our promised donation to Sirenian International so that they could apportion funds as they see fit. K4 Fins were able to make a donation to Sirenian International of £1180 from the sales of fins on your behalf and so we, Sirenian International, the Manatees and Dugongs all want to say a massive THANK YOU for your support, and we hope that we can all help to positively influence outcomes for these beautiful sea creatures and their habitats..

Save the Dugongs

How you will help us to help Dugongs

Dugongs have suffered a 20% global decline over the last century. They have a long life span and low reproduction rates meaning that they have a long generation time.

K4 Fins aim to help these shallow water loving, weed-eating friendly sea friends by giving a donation to help conservation efforts globally and by helping to raise awareness of the plight of them at the hands of human activity.

3% from all K4’s Dugong sales will go to Dugong Conservation charity Sirenian International. In the wild, Dugongs are facing extinction from destruction of their seagrass habitats, boat strikes, pollution, hunting and marine captivity. Our chosen charity are helping to save dugongs through research, education, and inter-cultural collaboration. 

Want to help more? Find out more about Dugongs

You can find out more about the problems caused by humans here:

Join the campaign to Save the Dugong: Write to the Australian Government to ask them to take action and ban hunting in Australia:

Find out more about Dugongs and how their numbers are plummeting, learn about how Dugongs are an essential part of the ecosystem and how they help to protect coastlines here – Natural History Museum

Find out about global conservation projects to help save the Dugong through the Dugong & Seagrass Conservation Project