A lesser known cousin of the manatee, the dugong (Malay for “woman of the ocean”) is said to have enlivened antiquated mermaid legends. “Seeing dugongs in the wild is an amazingly exceptional encounter,” says natural researcher Erina Molina, who got snared on life under the ocean when she swam just because at age 15. Presently, after 10 years, this National Geographic pioneer is devoted to protecting the marvels of the marine world; she enrolls fishers of the Philippines to help track dugongs. Here she shares tips on the best way to experience this powerless herbivore.

Where to Go

Molina suggests two spots where it’s probable for swimmers and jumpers to encounter dugongs. In the crystalline waters of Calauit Island, Philippines, local people lead preservation disapproved of visits that frequently incorporate an appearance by Aban, an ocean bovine big name. “The best time to see dugongs here is from March to early June, when the water is quiet and clear,” Molina says. In Egypt, at the tidal pond of Abu Dabbab, plenteous seagrass continues dugongs and goliath green ocean turtles.

What to Do

When swimming with dugongs, go in little gatherings of four or five and limit experiences to 15 minutes. Keep a sheltered separation—around 15 feet away—and fight the temptation to contact a creature. Rather, Molina prompts, “keep still and be peaceful.” If you’re swimming, move your balances gradually to abstain from slapping the water. For whatever length of time that they don’t feel upset, dugongs will continue chomping on seagrass and giving incredible photograph operations. [Read more tips for better natural life encounters.]

Approaches to Help

Try not to purchase items produced using dugongs (calfskin, charms, gems, conventional medication). They are carefully managed, and now and again restricted, by a worldwide arrangement. To help keep beach front waters clean, maintain a strategic distance from single-use plastics.

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