A 500-kilo leatherback turtle was accidentally trapped in a fisherman’s net and stranded in Balatan, Camarines Sur. Photos by Ryan Cediño, National Stock Assessment Program enumerator for BFAR.
A 500-kg leatherback turtle that got caught up in a Camarines Sur fisherman’s nets has been released unharmed.
Nonie Enolva, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol spokesperson, said the turtle accidentally entangled in the net owned by Alberto Pasamba in Balatan Town at about 6.30am yesterday (Thursday, November 22).
Leatherback turtles — dermochelys coricea — are listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List as “vulnerable”, meaning there is a “high risk of extinction in the wild”.
The female leatherback is the second to be stranded in Balatan this year. In July, one was discovered dead on a beach with a stomach full of plastic waste.
The leatherback brought ashore and released yesterday was examined by veterinarians, who found only superficial bruises caused by the net entanglement. Villagers then helped to release her back into the wild.
“Balatan can be considered as a hotspot area for marine turtles due to frequent stranding. Ragay Gulf is considered as rich in plankton, the primary food source for the rest of other marine species in the food chain,” Ms Enolva said.
She added that there were a lot green sea turtles in the area as the Ragay Gulf is in the turtles’ migration path, along with Burias Pass and Ticao Pass.
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Posted by Ryan Cediño on Wednesday, November 21, 2018