THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has helped in the rescue and eventual release of three juvenile female endangered green sea turtles into the sea in a coastal village in Aurora province recently.
The turtles, earlier rescued in the coastal village of Ditinagyan, were accidentally trapped in a fish cage.
Mary Jane Aragon, forest technician of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) based in Casiguran, Aurora, said the green sea turtles were accidentally trapped in a fishnet known as "baklad" and owned by a local fisherman in the area.
"The fisherfolk immediately reported to us the incident to check and document the condition of the turtles," she said.
Upon examination, the DENR found that the turtles have an average carapace length of 45 centimeters and weigh an average of eight kilograms.
"They (turtles) sustained no injuries and in good condition, so we released them immediately to the coastal waters after examination," she said.
Aragon, in a report from the DENR, said the turtles were also tagged to monitor their feeding and nesting grounds, including their population, which are vital in marine turtle conservation.
She said the tag will also serve as their identification.
Meanwhile, the DENR, in press statement, appealed to the public to report similar incident and be vigilant in the protection and conservation of marine species and other wildlife.
Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, five of them were found nesting in the coastal towns of Morong in Bataan, San Antonio in Zambales and in Aurora, all in Central Luzon, the DENR report added.
Section 27 of Republic Act 9147, also known as the "Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act," prohibits collecting, hunting and possessing of wildlife and their by-products and derivatives. Anyone found guilty of violating the wildlife law shall be imprisoned to a maximum of two years and shall be fined of up to P200,000, if inflicted against endangered species, according to the DENR.