Illegal fishing practices along the coasts of Puttalam and Kalpitiya have threatened the existence dugongs who inhabit the seagrass habitats around Sri Lanka. However, a number of alternatives have now been introduced as a result of conservation initiatives conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

These include the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Convention on Migratory Species.

Further to these measures, the project on enhancing the conservation effectiveness of seagrass ecosystems supporting globally significant populations of dugongs across the Indian and Pacific Ocean basins was launched in 2015. Eight dugong range countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor-Leste, Madagascar, Mozambique and Sri Lanka are involved in the project.