DAVAO CITY – A female green sea turtle was released back to the ocean after it was accidentally caught in a fishing hook by a fisherman in Barangay Central in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
Based on the report of the Mati City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO), the female green turtle was turned over to the City Fishery Law Enforcement Office (CFLEO) before it was referred to their office.
A group of marine conservationists from the field office, composed mainly of protected area staff under the CENRO promptly worked with the Local Government Unit (LGU), to determine the health of the turtle.
Mati CENRO said that the examination revealed the turtle is healthy and responsive. Thus, the office assisted the release of the turtle back to the oceans of the Pujada Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape on July 21.
Republic Act 9147, The Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats Law, ensures the protection and conservation of marine turtles and other wildlife in the country.
Green sea turtles are one of the five species of marine turtle that can be found in the Philippines. However, it is the only herbivore among its counterparts.
The green sea turtles are deemed endangered here in the country due to accidental bycatch, overharvesting of eggs, and habitat loss.
A green sea turtle was also rescued earlier in Santa Cruz town in Davao del Sur province, after it was found to have ingested plastic trash. The health of the turtle is still being monitored.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao Region (DENR-Davao) earlier appealed to the public to be observant in their surroundings.
“One of the most vulnerable are the sea turtles which, if not getting entangled or injured, dies from ingesting plastics,” the DENR-Davao said.
Apart from the environmental crisis that waste and plastic pollution cause, the agency said the lives of the marine species – whales, fishes, seabirds and turtles – are at stake.
“The DENR would like to appeal to everyone to please [be mindful and] dispose of your wastes properly. Better yet, reuse or recycle your plastic wastes. Behavioral changes go a long way,” the DENR-Davao said.