Seventy (70) Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) eggs hatched and released in the coast of Brgy. Bignay 2, Sariaya, Quezon by the Bantay Dagat, Sariaya Local Government Unit, and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Tayabas City.
The hatching of the wildlife was immediately reported to CENRO Tayabas City by Mr. Sherwin William Rosales of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMA), Sariaya, Quezon.
Out of the 270 total marine turtle eggs that were laid in three (3) separate nests last September, 70 marine turtles emerged from their nest and managed to survive from the damages brought by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (Nalgae) in October 2022.
Following the onslaught of “Paeng”, CENRO Tayabas personnel immediately carried out an investigation and monitoring of the sea turtle sites in Sariaya in collaboration with the same concerned organizations. The investigation revealed that there are still more eggs waiting to hatch.
In Brgy. Castañas, there were approximately 200 eggs recovered by the locals and relocated to another site along the barangay’s coast. The relocation was done to protect the eggs from the obstruction caused by storm debris and predators. The storm, which was also the cause of the surge had covered the eggs in a layer of sand that was more than one meter thick.
“Nilipat namin pagkatapos mahukay, sayang naman. Baka sakaling maisalba pa at mabuhay.” said Mr. Ramiro Atienza, one of locals of Sariaya.
Despite the destruction of the previous nests, the authorities and the locals are still anticipating these 200 eggs to hatch and be released in November.
Meanwhile in the same barangay, there were another reportedly 600 estimated newly laid eggs in the second and third weeks of November that already been relocated to the hatchery established in the area which is being maintained by the concerned organizations. These eggs are expected to hatch next year.
Within the area of responsibility of CENRO Tayabas, the town of Sariaya is listed as one of the female sea turtles' nesting locations, particularly in the barangays of Castañas, Bignay 2, and Guis-guis-San Roque. Marine turtles lay their eggs during the fourth week of October until December.
One (1) of the five (5) marine turtle species that can be found in the Philippines is the Olive Ridley sea turtle. This kind of fauna is also among the smallest sea turtles, measuring from 2 to 2.5 feet long and 35 to 50 kilograms in weight. Marine turtle eggs take 45 to 75 days to incubate, according to Philippine Aquatic Wildlife Rescue and Response Manual Series.
Based on the Department Administrative Order No. 2019-09, Olive Ridley is listed and designated as "Endangered", and protected under RA 9147, also known as Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001. Hunting, collecting, possessing, and poaching of its kind is punishable under this law.
The personnel of the aforementioned agencies and organizations regularly checks the nesting areas to ensure the survival of the marine turtles. CENRO Tayabas continuously calls for these types of incidents to be reported in order to protect and conserve our biodiversity.