58 baby sea turtles that crawled to fisher's doorstep released to sea in Calapan | Inquirer News

58 baby sea turtles that crawled to fisher’s doorstep released to sea in Calapan

By: - Correspondent / @mvirolaINQ
/ 07:49 PM February 06, 2022

Village officials and Bantay Dagat personnel gently place the 58 Olive Ridley sea turtle hatchlings on the sand as they release them back to the sea at the shores of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro Sunday afternoon. The baby turtles were found by a fisherman crawling on his doorstep. Photo by Clark Ross Bautista, Contributor

CITY OF CALAPAN — About 58 newly hatched Olive Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were released to the sea in Barangay (village) Lazareto in this city on Sunday afternoon.

The hatchlings were found by Jessie Garcia, 65, a fisherfolk.


Garcia said he was surprised by the hatchlings that came crawling up his doorstep at around 2 a.m.


“Well-informed about the vulnerable turtle populations, he immediately placed the hatchlings into a secured basin and called the attention of the community members and authorities,” said Mary Grace Catapang, Blue Alliance communications officer, who witnessed the release.

Blue Alliance is a local nongovernment organization, initiated by Blue Finance, that aims to protect and ensure the effective management of locally managed marine protected areas (LMMPAs) in Oriental Mindoro through community development and engagement, biodiversity conservation and science, sustainable revenues, management and infrastructure, and law compliance.

Although he had known about sea turtles, locally called pawikan, it was Garcia’s first time to have helped release the baby sea turtles. The turtles were released at around 1 p.m.

Among those who helped in the release of the hatchlings were the village officials,  “bantay dagat” (fish wardens), and staff from the city’s Fisheries Management Office and Maritime Police Station (MARPSTA).

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 consider the “pawikan” as an endangered species.

The Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act prohibits the hunting, selling, and killing, as well as collecting of eggs, of endangered species.



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TAGS: baby sea turtles, Calapan, released

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