123 baby turtles released in Tayabas Bay | Inquirer News
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123 baby turtles released in Tayabas Bay

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 09:38 PM February 10, 2012

LUCENA CITY—Environmentalists and local officials have let  loose some 123 Olive Ridley sea turtle (pawikan) hatchlings to their natural habitat at Tayabas Bay in nearby Sariaya town early morning on Friday.

Ernesto Amores Jr., Sariaya municipal agriculture officer, said the baby turtles were hatched in a nestling site in Barangay San Roque fronting the 40-hectare municipal fish sanctuary.

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He said another batch of 103 baby turtles from another nestling site in Barangay Guisguis would also be released back to the sea in the next few days.

“This is not our first release and definitely would not be our last,” Amores told the Inquirer.

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The event was witnessed by local officials, staff from environmentalist group Tanggol Kalikasan (TK), fishermen, fish wardens (bantay dagat) and students.

“This is another historical event in our common mission to protect and resurrect Tayabas Bay from its long years of destruction and abuse,” said Zenaida Bernal, community coordinator of TK-coastal and marine program.

Bernal said TK staff brought along their children to witness the momentous occasion.

“Most of the kids turned emotional. One of my children shed tears of joy as she watched how the baby turtles struggled back to the sea,” Bernal said.

Amores said the Sariaya coastline had long been the favorite site of turtle nestling and was now being protected by the local government with help from coastal villagers and resort owners.

Olive Ridley was listed under Appendix One of the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species which stated that commercial trade of the species was prohibited.

Republic Act No. 9147 (Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act) prohibited the hunting, selling and killing, as well as collecting of the eggs of endangered species like sea turtles.

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The local government aimed to promote the pristine coastline of Sariaya, host to numerous beach resorts and other tourist-oriented business, as “home of sea turtles,” Amores said.

He said turtles arrived at the Sariaya coast to lay eggs from October to December and stayed at the beach for 58 days to hatch the eggs.

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TAGS: Animals, Conservation, sea turtle, Tayabas Bay
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