In Subic, newly hatched sea turtles return to sea
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—With the help of tourists, 113 newly hatched olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were released to their natural habitat at Subic Bay here last week.
The turtles were born at the hatchery of All Hands Beach, a known nesting site for marine turtles inside this freeport. Edmond de Jesus, community development officer of SBMA ecology department, said an adult olive ridley laid 125 eggs in September. Twelve eggs did not hatch.
“The female sea turtles will return to this beach in the next 20 to 30 years to nest,” De Jesus said, adding that marine turtles have a unique memory that will help them find their way back to the place where they were born. Since 2011, the beach resort has released 3,256 baby sea turtles to their natural habitat, said Lutgarda Cortez, finance officer at All Hands Beach.
The resort is among seven major areas inside the freeport identified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as nesting sites for sea turtles. Records from the community environment and natural resources office in nearby Olongapo City showed that three of seven species of sea turtles in the world can be found in Zambales province.
Last month, 96 newly hatched olive ridley sea turtles were released to Subic Bay from their hatchery at All Hands Beach. —ALLAN MACATUNO
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