By Niño Luces
BALATAN, Camarines Sur – A male leatherback sea turtle was found dead by a fisherman floating at seas covered by Brgy Luluwasan, Balatan town, Camarines Sur province on Thursday morning.
Janice B. Barrientos, Agricultural Technologist of the local government unit of Balatan told the Manila Bulletin that leatherback sea turtle with a length of 7.2 feet; carapace of 151 c.m. and approximately 200 kilograms were found floating by a fisherman Ronie Bernaldez on Thursday morning.
“Nakita ng mangingisda na si Ronie Bernaldez na nakalutang sa dagat. Hinila papunta sa shoreline then ni-report sa office. Nakita siya patay na,” Barrientos said.
Barrientos added that the cause of death is yet to be determined as they are still waiting for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) vet to conduct necropsy.
Nonie Enolva, spokesperson of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol said that the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest among all living turtles and considered vulnerable due to decreasing population.
“This particular quarter tonner individual might have been impacted by anthropogenic activities in the Ragay Gulf area,” she said.
She added that other possible cause of the turtle’s death is due to old age or was caught by a commercial vessel.
“Pwede rin kasing old age, or baka dahil sa lakas ng alon dahil habagat. Maraming rason, baka rin nakapasok sa fishing net or baka nakasabay sa huli ng commercial vessel or baka nalunod. Ngayon hindi pa natin alam kasi hindi pa siya nani-necropsy,” Enolva explained.