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The journey of a giant sea turtle

- Benny G. Enriquez () - December 31, 2006 - 12:00am
A giant green sea turtle from Matain, Subic, Zambales was reported found in Con Dao National Park of Vietnam. Scientists estimate that it traveled about 1,670 kilometers across the South China Sea to reach the waters of Vietnam. Green turtles are listed among the endangered species throughout the world. They are protected in many countries including Asian countries like the Philippines and Vietnam.

The said turtle had a metal tag with the code "PH6854" which was attached on Feb. 7, 2006 by Vedinia Bugarin, environmental management specialist of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR)- Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, Olongapo City. It accidentally entered the net of the fishermen of Matain while using a "pukot" or beach seine. The municipal government was immediately informed about it by the team of fishermen led by Henry Escultura. The find was reported to Parks and Wildlife Bureau Director Mundita S. Lim.

The finding of the green turtle was reported by Phan Hong Dung, a marine scientist who works with the Research Institute of Marine Fisheries of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, during the international exchange of biological data at the regional meeting on the progress research for stock enhancement of sea turtles on Nov. 28-29 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia at the office of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center —Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (SEAFDEC-MFRDMD).

Tagging is one of the basic methods being adopted by sea turtle biologists to gather knowledge on migratory routes, foraging grounds and reproductive biology and effective monitoring of the movements of sea turtles. The tag recovery is a timely episode in the celebration of the International Year of the Turtle, 2006 as it shows that conservation and enhancement of sea turtles in Southeast Asia can be achieved through cooperation between and among neighboring countries.
COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OFFICE CON DAO NATIONAL PARK OF VIETNAM DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES HENRY ESCULTURA INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE TURTLE KUALA TERENGGANU MARINE FISHERY RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT MATAIN OLONGAPO CITY PARKS AND WILDLIFE BUREAU DIRECTOR MUNDITA S PHAN HONG DUNG
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