Fisherman rescues Olive ridley sea turtle

TURTLE RESCUE: Fisherman Federico Alilain, PEMO personnel Rusiel Escanilla Placio, and CDD Chief Lucia Salazar of CENRO Kabankalan measure the carapace of the turtle. After the measurement, a metal tag was attached to the flipper of the sea turtle (right). (Photo by CENRO Kabankalan)

A fisherman rescued a female Olive ridley sea turtle trapped in his fishnet in the waters of Bucay, Ilog, Negros Occidental recently.

Federico Alilain of Sitio Mapait, Brgy. Su-ay, Himamaylan City informed the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Kabankalan about a sea creature trapped in his fishnet.

The office immediately responded and sent a team to the area. The body of the sea turtle was in good condition and has never been tagged.

Conservation Development Section (CDS) Chief Lucia Salazar of CENRO Kabankalan and Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) personnel Rusiel Escanilla Placio measured the carapace and tagged the flipper of the Olive ridley for identification and information purposes.

The female Olive ridley has a carapace length of 62 centimeters and a width of 65 centimeters.  It was released to the sea by the Wildlife Enforcement Officers (WEO) on the day after the rescue.

In Negros Occidental, the field office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) continues to fulfill its mandate in taking care of the marine wildlife species amidst the pandemic brought about by the Corona Virus Disease (CoViD)–19.

Aside from abundant coastal and marine wildlife, the province also has rich forestlands which are habitats of many terrestrial wildlife species, according to CENR Officer Rosievel Dimatulac who also responded in rescuing the vulnerable sea turtle.

The Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is known for its olive-colored carapace and is usually found in warm, tropical waters of Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It is listed as Vulnerable (VU) in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). (DENR-6)