|INFORMATION AND EDUCATION CAMPAIGN ON MARINE TURTLE PROTECTION In Punta, Padre Burgos, Quezon|
|Tuesday, 25 September 2012 15:12|
On September 10, a sub-adult hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) was accidentally caught by Virgilio Dela Cruz of Barangay Punta, Padre Burgos, Quezon. The turtle was tied with a rope by its hind flipper and the other end tied in floating hut.
Local Officials and the Municipal Agriculture Officer (MAO) of Municipality of Padre Burgos were informed along with the Barangay Captain of Punta. According to the MAO they informed the Office of CENRO, Pagbilao on the reported caught turtle. According to Ms. Divine Lozano a staff of CENRO she informed the MAO to release the turtle since she was still in Manila. Unfortunately, a local alleged that the turtle was found dead and entangled underwater. Despite the condition of the said turtle, the locals butchered and cooked.
On September 12, 2012, CENRO staff along with MAO Officer visited Barangay Punta purposely to retrieve and tag the turtle. To their surprise the turtle was already butchered and the MAO discovered the carapace of the said turtle. The said incident was broadcast in the media and locals claimed that they are not aware of the regulation pertaining to protecting the sea turtle.
Upon instructed of Director Lim, of PAWB the Pawikan Conservation Project staff to proceeded to Padre Burgos, Quezon to conduct lecture on the biology and educate the locals on the regulation to protect wildlife such as the sea turtles. The Team also discussed the protocol (does and don’ts) in case of accidental trapping of turtles. Barangay Officials were also informed that as Leader of the Community they are responsible to report also to MAO, CENRO, PENRO which pertains to the protection of wildlife within their jurisdiction.
The orientation was conducted at the Barangay Hall of Punta which was attended by Kagawad’s, young children (Elementary level), local residents and two (2) staff from CENRO, Pagbilao. After the orientation the Team proceeded to the Barangay Court and posted Marine Turtle Conservation posters informing that every citizen under law, RA 9147 has a responsibility in wildlife protection. Primers were also given to local residents of the said barangay.
In order that the incident will not happen again, PCP suggest to conduct another IEC in the nearby Barangays and a habitat survey in the Western and Eastern side of Pagbilao. This perhaps will validate the presence of species and awareness of local residents.
It is recommended, that CENRO Pagbilao must pursue the investigation and file necessary complaint against those who butchered and eat turtle meat. (Photos courtesy of Emie T. Ramoso)