Four (4) female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were rescued and released in the coastal waters of Brgy. Katimo, Tagkawayan Quezon, and Brgy. Poblacion 3, Calauag Quezon on March 23 and 27, 2023, respectively.
Mr. Romer Añonuevo, resident of Brgy. Katimo and Maritime Law Enforcement Team (MLET) Gumaca turned over the reportedly trapped marine turtles to the 3rd Special Operation Unit - Maritime Group Tagkawayan Detachment and to DENR CENRO Calauag for rescue and release operations.
Prior to release, Forest Technician I Hector Danez, personnel of CENRO Calauag and Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP)alternate focal person, assessed the condition of the marine turtles, and checked the presence of any external organisms such as barnacles, or any strangling objects attached to the species to free it from parasites and to avoid injury, and also for better measurement of the carapace size.
The marine turtles were all in good condition and no injuries were observed. Meanwhile, the carapace of the 4 rescued wildlife measures 61 cm x 58 cm; 45 cm x 44 cm; 41 cm x 40 cm; and 30 cm x 28 cm. The wildlife were properly tagged except with a carapace length below the recommended measure for tagging, which is less than 40cm. The prescribed metal tags were placed on the fore flippers as means of identification. These tags contain relevant information for research and monitoring purposes. All pertinent information was also collected and necessary photos were taken.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, the green sea turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle. They are unique among sea turtles and are herbivores, eating mostly seagrasses and algae. Green turtles are found worldwide with 11 distinct population segments (DPS) listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Proper handling of marine turtles upon release must be observed to avoid inflicting damage and further injuries to marine turtles. For nesters, allow the turtle to crawl down to the sea. For non-nesters, it is not necessary to allow them to crawl on the sand but they may also be released directly into the water. The proper way is to gently place the marine turtle in the water from a boat or on the shore and let it swim away. Also, avoid throwing the turtle into the water.
The cooperation and participation of the community in conserving and protecting marine turtles are vital since they aid in rescuing trapped or strangled sea turtles found within their localities. Likewise, inculcating the value and role of these turtles in the ecosystem will establish a vigilant citizenry and prevent illegal acts related to marine life.###