Samal resort gets notice of violation over hawksbill turtle hatchlings

The Department of Natural Resources-Davao Region (DENR-Davao) has issued a notice of violation (NOV) to a well-known resort owner in Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) over the illegal possession of hawksbill turtle hatchlings.
The Department of Natural Resources-Davao Region (DENR-Davao) has issued a notice of violation (NOV) to a well-known resort owner in Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) over the illegal possession of hawksbill turtle hatchlings.DENR-Davao

THE Department of Natural Resources-Davao Region (DENR-Davao) has issued a notice of violation (NOV) to a well-known resort owner in Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) over the illegal possession of hawksbill turtle hatchlings.

In a Facebook post on Thursday morning, January 18, 2024, DENR-Davao revealed that through the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) Panabo, they served an NOV to Isla Reta Beach Resort.

The resort violated Republic Act (RA) 9147, also known as the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act,” which prohibits the willful exploitation of wildlife resources and their habitats.

According to the law, collecting, hunting, or possessing wildlife or their by-products is strictly prohibited. Penalties for such activities include imprisonment for two to four years and fines ranging from P30,000 to P300,000 for offenses against critical species.

In response to the NOV, the resort's owner must release the turtle hatchlings within a day; otherwise, legal action may be pursued by the department.

On January 15, 2024, Isla Reta announced the discovery of turtle hatchlings on their shorelines, expressing their intention to care for and release them after six months. 

This announcement led DENR-Davao to visit the area, where they found 130 Hawksbill turtle hatchlings inside styro boxes.

“Right there and then, DENR-11 ordered the release of the hatchlings but the resort staff refused to do so. As what was posted on the Facebook Page, they will provide care and `release them after 6 months,' a plan which is totally wrong and will definitely alter the already low chance of survival of the hatchlings,” DENR-Davao wrote in their post.

The department emphasized the critical importance of immediately releasing the turtle hatchlings, allowing them to imprint on the sand and swiftly make their way to the ocean upon emerging from their nest.

The Philippines recognizes five sea turtle species, with hawksbill and leatherback classified as critically endangered. 

DENR-Davao encourages individuals to report wildlife sightings, pledging to conduct communication, education, and public awareness (Cepa) campaigns for community engagement in wildlife conservation.

On January 17, 2024, Isla Reta Beach Resort faced criticism from Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis) over unauthorized plans to raise the hatchlings. RGP

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