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Zambo turtle protection network cited

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 30 –The coordinating network established to ensure the protection of endangered species like sea turtle is working effectively in this southern port city, according to a local government official.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said the city agriculture office, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), had already sent back three sea turtles back to their its natural habitat since January of this year.

Palacat said there were a total of 27 turtles, mostly green sea turtle, that were sent back last year to its natural habitat.

Palacat said two of the turtles saved and sent back to their natural habitat this year were a green sea turtle, the most abundant specie, and the other was a leatherback turtle, a rare specie.

Palacat said most of the turtles sent back to their natural habitat got entangled in the nets of fishermen while on fishing venture within the municipal waters of this southern port city.

He said the coordinating network established involved the participation of the fisherfolks, barangay officials, city agriculture, DENR and the government-owned Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST).

He said that whenever there is a catch or rescue of turtle, the fishermen immediately report to the barangay officials “who in turn call my office.”

He said that all of the turtles were weighed and tagged before they were returned to their natural habitat.

Palacat is happy that the fishermen including the residents “are very cooperative with us in ensuring the protection of sea turtle.” (PNA) RMA/Teofilo P. Garcia/jsd

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