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Endangered marine turtle freed

CEBU CITY, Aug. 30 – Environment officials released a sea turtle into the sea at the San Vicente Marine Sanctuary in Lapu-Lapu, after it was tagged an endangered sea turtle.

An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 said the turtle, belonging to the Chelonia mydas species (common name, green turtle), was confiscated by San Vicente Barangay Captain Cyrus Iyas from a fisherman in Barangay Tinago, Lapu-Lapu City last Aug. 9 .

The turtle had a carapace or upper shell measuring 48 centimeters long and 45 centimeters wide. It weighed eight kilos.

DENR 7 regional executive director Maximo Dichoso said the turtle was listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cities).

Cities is an international agreement that aims to ensure that international trade in specimen of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

The green turtle can be found in tropical and subtropical seas around the world, and has two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

”It is highly protected from exploitation and abuse in most countries. It is illegal to collect, harm or kill them,” said Dichoso in a press statement.

”We must not hunt turtles and their eggs for food as it will diminish their critical population level,” he said.

The turtle’s release was supervised by Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary Protected Area superintendent Reginald Bueno with Park Warden Socrates Sagarino and administrative officer IV Theodora de Leon. (PNA) RMA/EB/gb

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