Ilocos Norte fishermen release green sea turtle

LAOAG CITY — A 15-kilogram green sea turtle measuring 50 by 40 centimeters was released back into the sea on late Sunday afternoon in the coastal village of Saud, Badoc town in Ilocos Norte.

Sherman Valdez, village councilor and president of the Saud-Paratong Fishermen Association, said on Monday that they were fishing near the 1.5 kilometer Saud coastline when they noticed the endangered sea turtle entangled in the fishing net.

As a “Bantay Dagat” member deputized by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Regional Office 1, the group is fully aware that catching the sea turtles and marine mammals is punishable by imprisonment of at least 12 years, said Valdez. He said they also rescued a green sea turtle last year.

Valdez’ group is a model organization in fishery projects implementation.

The fishermen immediately reported the incident to the provincial fishery coordinator and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for proper tagging.

Provincial Fishery Regulatory Officer Arthur Valente said the presence of turtles in the Ilocos coastline is a manifestation of its rich and clean environment.

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