Banguingui town’s turtle sanctuary now protected PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 November 2011 17:09

BANGUINGUI, Sulu —  The municipal government here has declared an island off the village of South Paarul as a protected area for marine turtles and other  endangered sea creatures living  in the  island. At the same time , it has limited the gathering of turtle eggs for commercial purposes.

Mayor Abdulwahid Sahidulla said he has issued an executive order banning the gathering at Sipak island  turtles  and their turtle eggs used for commercial purposes.
Sahidulla said the  turtles are now seriously considered endangered species along with  some few others  sea creatures  by the Department of Environment  and Natural Resources (DENR).

Sahidulla personally visited the island on Tuesday together with some DENR officials stationed in the Autonomous         Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and was convinced  that the entire island should be placed under government watch.

In the same visit  Sahidulla along with the DENR officials  held a forum  to inform the people that the local government is now banning the  gathering of turtles and their eggs for commercial purposes.

“This is one of the few sites that we have in  the country today  where you can find turtles of different species laying  their eggs in the sand and living  along the coastal waters of  this island,” Sahidulla remarked during the visit.

Hadja Dar, a resident of the island, said that some turtles including green ones are having some Chinese  markings on their back, an indication she said, that the turtles has reached  that country.

Turtle eggs are abundant at a market here and markets of neighboring  islands in this municipality and are selling at a popular price of P5 to P8  each.

The town chief executive said that he will closely  monitor the activities of the people in the island and will penalize those who will violate his executive order that carries a penalty for violators.

“We have to monitor the people living in this island and  punish those who will violate the order, in order for us to fully protect the turtles and other endangered sea creatures,” Sahidulla emphasized.