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Release of marine life back to the wild highlights Month of the Ocean 2020 in Sarangani

Local News • 05:00 AM Fri May 22, 2020
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DENR-12 information office
ECPC Veterinarian Dr. Roy Mejorada checks on the juvenile green sea turtule. (Photos from ECPC/DENR)

MALAPATAN, Sarangani province – A juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) finally returned to its natural habitat after eight months of rehabilitation since it was rescued in Sarangani province.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) of Glan Abdul D. Cariga said the species was released May 20 at Barangay Tuyan, this town, the same place where it was rescued September last year.

According to reports, local fisherfolks rescued the weakened sea turtle after it was entangled in their fishing net.

The local community reported the incident to their Municipal ENR Officer Engr. Joey Palma Coliao, who sought the technical assistance of CENRO Glan, Sarangani Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC) and Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS) Megafauna Response Team to validate and assess the condition of the turtle.

The marine species was then brought to Belmar Ecopark Resort in Glan for its rehabilitation as recommended by ECPC Veterinarian Dr. Roy Mejorada.

After thorough assessment of the turtle’s condition, it was finally released by the personnel of CENRO Glan, Protected Area Management Office of SBPS, Malapatan Philippine National Police, ECPC, local government unit and barangay officials in the coastal waters of Purok Magkaisa in Barangay Tuyan.

In Glan town Sarangani, a rescued Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and 75 Olive Ridley Sea Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) hatchlings were also released.

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle was seen by local fisherfolks on Monday, May 18 in Purok Bukana, Barangay Pangyan floating with some marine debris in the area.

Since it was fit for release after a thorough assessment, the marine wildlife returned to its home on Tuesday morning after it was released by the personnel of CENRO and MENRO Glan.

On the same day, around 1:00 in the afternoon, the community in a beach area at Purok Sto. Nino in Barangay Big Margus witnessed the 75 small turtles finally heading to their natural habitat.

CENRO Glan Conservation and Development Section Chief Forester Alexander P. Ursua together with some personnel also conducted a brief information drive to the local community on the importance of marine biodiversity after the release of the species.

Meanwhile, DENR-12 Regional Executive Director Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV calls on the public to take part in the protection of the region’s only protected seascape, the Sarangani Bay.

He said that the Protected Areas will benefit not only the present but also the future generations.

Joy C. Ologuin, protected area superintendent (PASu) of SBPS, said that the recent releasing activities of wildlife species in Sarangani Bay were timely in the monthlong celebration of the Month of the Ocean 2020 with the theme “PAra sa tao: Protected Areas for a Protected Future.”

She also emphasized that with the continued support and strengthened collaboration between the DENR and its partner stakeholders, SBPS can be a safe haven for marine wildlife. | Courtesy: CENRO Glan & PAMO-SBPS

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