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A dugong which is called mermaid and inhabits the tropical sea was discovered in the offing of Ushibuka-city in Kumamoto Amakusa the other day.
In Japan, the dugong which does't live further north than Amami Oshima goes north by the rise of sea water temperature.
As a result of investigating the sea water temperature of Amakusa, Mr. Satoshi Nojima (major in sea ecology) of the Amakusa Marine Biological Laboratory (AMBL) says it continues to rise every year, and has become the environment where southern living things can live.
And he also says it is the global warming to cause the northing of this dugong.

 
     
 
 
     
  A dugong is one of the marine animals and the caudal fin resembles the whale's by the semicircle. The skin is blue gray and the belly is white.
They mainly live in the sea of the Torrid Zone of the Eastern Hemisphere, such as the Indian Ocean.
They appear also in Taiwan and the Okinawa adjacent seas, and although it is said in Japan that 50-100 animals live, the ecology of dugongs is not understood well.
 
     
 

The dugong found this time is the length of about 3m.

Mr. Shizuo Nakahara in Ushibuka discovered the dugong in the fixed net devised near Akashima of the Ushibuka.

Although Mr. Nakahara thought that it was a sea turtle at first, the interval of breathing is short, and since there is a tail, it is said that the seal was thought now.

His friend fisherman who has seen a dugong in Australia told Mr. Nakahama it was a dugong.
Although Mr. Nakahara is working as the fisherman for 30 years, such a thing came to me for the first time.

There were also much sea turtles caught in fishing net and, several days ago, the green sea turtle also found which should be ranged over the Torrid Zone and the subtropical zone.

Moreover, sea water temperature is getting higher, and the fish's season also shifts for about one month, and lots of blue fish and ray which inhabit in southern Okinawa were caught.

 
     
 
 
 
The Place Dugon was Found
 
     
   
  Puting a fixed net Onikizaki in Ushibuka-city, Amakusa
     
 

It was Mr. Kazutaka Onishi who shot the dugong's video.

Hearing the news, Mr. Onishi took the children of Ikeda elementary school on his boat to show it.

What he shot at that time is only one movie which shows the dugong swimming and breathing in fishing net.

Is was also the first time for Mr.Onishi and no one in this town has never seen it.
And at that time , the Japan Current flowed from offing and that made the number of fish decreasing.

 
 
 

Mr. Nojima was surprised at this dugong appearance at first, but talked that he found the sea water temperture rising by 2 degrees in 40 years and it makes the environment south creatures can live.

The investigation of the annual change of sea water temperature turns out that the temperature in February is rising every year, and it is going up by 2 degrees in 40 years by 0.5 degrees in ten years.

Although it was less than 12 degrees centigrade in Ushibuka before, but recently it does not get much cold at 16 - 17 degrees.
As the result, for example, coral forms a big crowd and the tropical fish which lives in a coral reef has been increasing in number rapidly.

Probably it is becoming the situation same as around Yakushima island of 40 years ago, he said.

 
     
   
     
   
     
   
     
  If sea water temperature rises, the seaweed which lives in cold temperature will decrease, and abalone a sea urchin a top shell which eat it and grow up will disappear.
And coral increases in number instead of seaweed, and tropical fish which was present only in the Torrid Zone until now, go north rapidly, and increase in number.

It is said that the sea water temperature of Ushibuka when the dugong was found had about 26.5 C. surface water temperature 27 C. at the bottom.

It is considered that warm sea water have flowed in and come around Ushibuka in these days, it will make possibility that a dugong will appear in Amakusa again.
 
     
  In addition to northing of coral, appearance of the dugong and the green sea turtle seen in Amakusa is proof that the sea in Amakusa got warm, and the rise of sea water temperature has broken out not only throughout the outskirts of Amakusa but throughout the Japan Current.

This is an occurrence in a global scale and is caused by earth warming.

2002.Dec
 
       
   
       
   
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