THE Municipal Government of Moalboal, Cebu, is putting up a P50,000 reward for anyone who can identify the culprit behind the death of a sea turtle in Barangay Basdiot.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) said earlier that it will conduct an investigation on the incident.

In a text message to SunStar Cebu, Moalboal Mayor Inocente Cabaron said they will offer a cash reward to speed up the investigation and identify who was behind the spearing of the sea turtle earlier this week.

“Para dunay mutug-an kinsa ang gabuhat sa salaod. It is a big offense to our tourism business. Spear fishing is illegal in Moalboal,” Cabaron said.

Penro Senior Environmental Management specialist Romel Kirit said they already coordinated with the Municipality of Moalboal.

“As to kinsay nagbuhat ato, we try to talk to the enforcement division ug unsay matabang nila. But we (Penro) really have to conduct some investigation on really looking the culprit kay for sure, taga diha rasad to. It's either a resident or a tourist nga taga diha rapud,” Kirit said.

“Dili ni nato palampason nga ingun ani nga binuhatan (We will not let this pass),” Kirit added.

Kirit suggested to local government units to stop and ban spear fishing as a sport after what happened in Moalboal.

He said the sport is “inhumane” and “cruel,” especially the concept of hunting down animals, specifically those that are endangered.

Kirit also suggested for the expansion of protected zones and limiting access to tourists to avoid a similar incident.

In a phone interview, Nino Cabaron, of the Department of Agriculture office, said as soon as they find the culprit, they will file a case for violation of Republic Act 8550, also known as The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. (Rolyn May Jumao-as, USJR intern/SunStar Cebu)