LABUAN: Concerted efforts to boost the turtle population are bearing fruit after 1,309 hatchlings were released into the wild from the three landing sites in Labuan from January to October this year.

The number accounted for 76.59% of the total 1,705 turtle eggs hatched at the popular marine parks of Rusukan Besar Island, Rusukan Kecil Island and Kuraman.

These marine parks are strategic landing places for three turtle species, namely hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata), olive-ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) and green turtle (Chelonia Mydas), with 12 nests found on the beaches throughout the period.

Department of Malaysia Marine Park Labuan director Anuar Deraman said a total of 9,543 hatchlings were released into the wild from the landing sites in Labuan from 2011 to 2015.

“Our efforts to conserve turtles by hatching their eggs and releasing the hatchlings into the sea since five years ago are succeeding,” he told Bernama today.

“The strategic landing sites, with no beach erosion are the factor behind the increased number of turtles landing,” he said.

He said the experienced rangers who were well trained in handling the eggs during the transfer of the eggs to the hatchery also contributed to the increasing number of hatchlings released into the sea.

Anuar also said Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency Labuan was working closely to monitor any illegal activities within the waters of marine parks.

He said the turtle conservation and protection exercise in the marine parks could be transformed into an eco-tourism product of Labuan to support the efforts of the local tourism stakeholders. — Bernama



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