Netizens call to save sea turtle caught in Marabut, Samar (PHOTOS)

Update (Aug. 8, 2015 12:17 AM): Message of DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau head Mundita Lim to WWF-Philippines Vice Chair Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan:
...according to our Regional Office, the turtle has been released back to the sea after it was measured and tagged. We are getting more details on the circumstances surrounding these photos...but it is already clear that some information campaign on proper handling of marine turtles will be undertaken by the Regional office in this area.
"Big catch pawikan in Brgy Sta Rita marabut samar"

Leatherback sea turtle caught in Samar

We chanced upon this Facebook post today, featuring a huge leatherback - sea turtle, apparently caught in Barangay Sta. Rita, Marabut, Samar.

The photos posted by Jose Lastimado on his Facebook account gathered a lot of comments, mainly calling for the folks to just return the reptile back to the sea.

Leatherback sea turtle caught in Samar

As of the latest, there is still no update whether the animal is still alive and has been put back to its natural habitat.

Leatherback sea turtle caught in Sta Rita Samar

endangered Leatherback sea turtle

endangered Leatherback sea turtle photos

Leatherback sea turtle photos

Leatherback sea turtle photos in Sta Rita Marabut Samar

Leatherback sea turtle photos in Sta Rita Marabut Samar

Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are also called "Lute turtle" or "leathery turtle". They are considered as the largest of all living turtles in the world.

Its main distinguishing difference from other modern sea turtles is its lack of a bony shell. Its carapace is covered by a leathery skin.

In terms of distribution, leatherbacks pretty much reside in the Atlantic, Pacific, South China sea, and Indian ocean.

Their lifespan ranges from 30 or so years.

Conservation of Leatherback sea turtles
D. Coriacea is included in the CITES list, otherwise known as the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" or the " Washington Convention". It is a multilateral treaty that was conceived to protect endangered plants and animals.

The specie is also in the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species, and is labeled as "VU", which means vulnerable.

Photos: Jose Lastimado
References: IUCN Red List, CITES

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2 comments :

Stephen Lavoie said...

UPDATE: On the Leatherback turtle, which is a critical endangered species, under international protection. It was so upsetting to me to see such a reprehensible act so I shared the set of images with one of my FB groups, Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines.

I know it's not a bird but the members are very eco conscience. One of the members, Ramon shared the post with Mundita Sison Lim, the director of the DENR, who coincidentally is also a member of the group.

The regional office has already responded:
"The turtle has been released back to the sea after it was measured and tagged. We are getting more details on the circumstances surrounding these photos...but it is already clear that some information campaign on proper handling of marine turtles will be undertaken by the Regional office in this area."

And literally as I'm writing this Director Lim just replied to my post:
Mundita Sison Lim - Reg director Nards Sibbaluca had it released yesterday. IEC (INFORMATION, EDUCATION & COMMUNICATION) campaign will be undertaken in the area."

And that's what social media is all about!

James Holms said...

Thank you for your well elucidated comment Sir Stephen. Handling those marine dwellers has to be a basic responsibility of everyone, specially those living near the habitat.