December 25, 2011 in Ilocos
By LEILANI ADRIANO
BADOC, Ilocos Norte ― An endangered sea turtle was released by Bantay Dagat enforcers and local environment officials to the sea on December 12, three days after some locals caught it with an alleged intent to butcher it that evening.
A concerned citizen from the coastal town of Badoc tipped off the presence of the endangered turtle believed to have laid eggs in the sandy shores of Pagsanahan Norte when three individuals reportedly took home the turtle on Dec.9.
The female green turtle weighing eight kilograms that belonged to the Chelonia mydas species, with a carapace or upper shell measuring 68 centimeters in length and 65 centimeters in width was confiscated by local wildlife enforcers in the coastal village of Badoc led by Willy Adzuara of Pagsanahan Sur in cooperation with the Badoc PNP and local barangay officials of the neighboring Pagsanahan Norte village.
Arthur Valente of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture Office said the marine turtle is considered an endangered species due to small population noted due to illegal catching, butchering and egg collection practice of people in fishing villages. For some, they consider this as a delicacy.
But under fishery and environmental laws and with FAO 208, the catching of endangered marine species is punishable by law of 12-20 years or a fine of P120,000 or both.
Moreover, the marine turtle is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
After proper documentation and tagging, the marine turtle, witnessed by locals was released back to the Sea. # nordis.net