Returning marine turtles to the sea PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 March 2014 11:49

Two marine sea turtles (pawikan) identified as hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelysimbricata), a critically endangered species per CITES Red list and green sea turtle (Cheloniamydas, an endangered species, were released to its natural habitat on March 3, 2014 at Dapitan Bay, Dapitan City and March 11, 2014 at Galas Beach, Galas, Dipolog City, respectively.

It was initiated by CENRO Dapitan’s PAWCZMS Specialist Rolando Q. Montana assisted by some personnel while the latter was done by PENRO Zamboanga del Norte personnel in coordination with Barangay LGU of Galas, Dipolog City.

The two marine turtles were accordingly trapped in the bungsod (a type of fishing device with poles and net) of Rodrigo Bicoy in Barangay Canim, Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte.

The first turtle was captured on February 24, 2014 and turned over to CENRO Dapitan on even date while the second turtle was captured on March 10, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. and turned-over to PENRO, ZaNorte on March 11, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. by Bicoy himself.

Before the release, the hawksbill turtle was temporarily kept in a mini-pond located within the Rizal Memorial Protected Landscape, Talisay, Dapitan City while it was under observation/evaluation by PAWCZMS Specialist Montana.  However, the green sea turtle was immediately released after the turn-over by Mr. Bicoy per advice/instruction of CENRO Dipolog’s PAWCZMS Specialist Elsie M. Adorable considering the unavailability of facility/pond where the turtle can be safely kept.

Per evaluation/assessment on its dimension, it was revealed that the hawksbill turtle has a curved caraface length of 26 centimeters while its curved caraface width is 18 centimeters.  On the other hand, the green sea turtle has a curved caraface length and width of 45 cm and 41 cm, correspondingly.

It is encouraging to note that people are getting educated and concerned on the conservation of marine turtles and are mindful on the penalty specifically on the million pesos fines for whosoever will be caught hurting and killing this wildlife.  Hopefully, more pawikan will be returned to its home as continuous information drive will be conducted by DENR. — MGAcama/PENRO-ZDN