CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Some 800 olive ridley sea turtle hatchlings were released in a beach in Zambales province.
This is part of the yearly conservation efforts that aim to help in increasing the population of sea turtles.
The hatchlings were released through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its partner conservation groups in Zambales in a bid to "promote marine turtle protection and conservation efforts."
Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo reported that the DENR provincial office in Zambales was joined by partners from PawiCare, All Hands Beach, and the team from USAID Philippines Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscapes (SIBOL) Project in the event.
The turtle hatchlings were released in Subic Bay and the coastal areas of the towns of San Narciso and Masinloc.
"Our olive ridley sea turtles are important to our ecosystem. Their existence is an important indicator of a balanced and healthy marine life," Pablo said.
The DENR said the olive ridley sea turtle is one of the five marine turtle species that can be found in the tropical oceans of the Philippines, particularly nesting in the coastal towns of Morong in Bataan, San Antonio in Zambales, and in some coastal areas of Aurora.
Zambales province has been active in protecting its sea turtles.
The town of San Narciso even hosts a Pawikan Festival every January to promote awareness on the need to preserve its sea turtles and the local environment.
The highlight of the festival is the ceremonial release of sea turtle hatchlings.