Malaysia: Endangered Sea Turtles caught in fishing net saved by fishermen

27th October 2017;

Fishing nets are a threat to the marine ecosystem, which is proven yet again when a group of local fishermen recently saved four Sea Turtles and ending their week of misery of being caught in the fishing nets.

As reported by Kosmo!, the group stumbled upon the distressing scene at roughly 9am on Wednesday (Oct 25) with one of the four endangered marine reptiles in a fragile state as one of its hind legs was almost cut off while its abdomen was bloated.

The captain of the crew, Wan Abdul Halim Wan Mohamed Dom, recounted that they found the trawling net, which entrapped the found Sea Turtles, at 22 nautical miles from the Kuala Kerteh Fisheries Jetty and are convinced that it may have belonged to foreign fishermen.

The 43-year-old went on to elaborate that he along with his three-man crew were on their way to their fishing spot to collect the fish that have been caught, when they came across the foreign trawling net.

“We found a trawling net that was 200 metres long and 10 metres wide. After we pulled it out and cut it open, we found two Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and two Hawksbill Sea Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata),” the captain revealed to Kosmo! yesterday.

While Wan Abdul Halim shared that three of the Sea Turtles have been released to the sea, the severely injured turtle was taken back to the Kuala Kerteh Fisheries Jetty for treatment purposes.

He conveyed to the Malay daily that the Persatuan Khazanah Rakyat Ma’ Daerah (MEKAR) Kerteh has been informed of the discovery of the injured Hawksbill Turtle, prior handing it over to the Turtles and Marine Ecosystem Centre (TUMEC) in Rantau Abang yesterday.

Meanwhile, Fisheries Research Institute Officer Mohd Tamimi Ali Ahmad communicated that initial inspection revealed that the Hawksbill Turtle was severely injured and therefore, preventing it to swim normally.

“Based on its physical condition, it’s believed that the Hawksbill Turtle was trapped in the drift nets for a long period of time.

"The aquatic reptile is estimated to be between four and six years old and will be treated until it is fully recovered prior releasing it back to the ocean,” he affirmed.

Mohd Tamimi also underlined that the drift nets are believed to have belonged to foreign fishermen, who invaded Malaysian waters as the Department of Fisheries has banned the total use of trawling nets.

Sinar Harian reported that the officer revealed that many Sea Turtles have swam towards the middle of the sea following Vietnamese fishermen illegally harvesting marine produce mostly in the vicinity of Pulau Tenggol.

“Their illegal actions are damaging the coral reefs, which happens to be the primary ecosystem for Sea Turtles,” he lamented.

“I’m proud of the immediate action taken by our local fishermen to rescue the endangered Sea Turtles, that are protected under the Fisheries Act 1985,” he applauded.

Wan Abdul Halim on the other hand expressed his hope that enforcement measures will continue to improve as a means to ensure that foreign fishermen will not continue to threat out marine ecosystem.

Source: Malaysian Digest

Malaysia: Endangered Sea Turtles caught in fishing net saved by fishermen

Photo: Kompas.com

Indonesia: Endangered Green Turtle found dead with wounds in Polewali Mandar
14th April 2017;

A Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found stranded and dead with wounds all over its body at Mampie Beach in Wonomulyo district, Polewali Mandar regency, West Sulawesi, on Thursday night.

The Green Turtle, which is listed as a protected species, was found by local residents and members of Komunitas Sahabat Penyu (Friends of Turtle Community). The dead reptile reportedly had wounds on its neck and head as well as a damaged shell.

The community’s chairman, Yusri, suspected that the turtle was beaten to death by fishermen as turtles, drawn to fishnets full of fish, are often seen during fishing activities, Yusri said.

“We will encourage all stakeholders, including local residents and the maritime police, to intensify joint patrol to protect Turtles,” Yusri said as quoted by kompas.com.

Yusri and student activists on Turtle protection further conducted an examination of the dead Turtle, including recording the Turtle’s measurements and analyzing its wounds. The dead reptile was buried so that its shell would not be illegally traded.

Friends of Turtle Community members and activists have recently intensified patrol efforts along the shores of Mampie Beach on the evenings to prevent anyone from stealing the endangered species’ eggs, as many Turtles typically lay eggs there in April.

Local residents and the Friends of Turtle Community commonly find large Turtles stranded and dead at Mampie Beach.

Source: Jakarta Post

A dead Green Sea Turtle
Photo: Allan Macatuno/Inquirer Central Luzon

Philippines: Sea turtle found dead in Pangasinan’s Hundred Islands
By Yolanda Sotelo, 9th February 2017;

A Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), with a piece of nylon net and a hook in its mouth, was found dead at the Hundred Islands National Park on Wednesday (Feb. 8).

The Turtle was discovered near the cages of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Broodstock Development Center at 4 p.m., said the agency’s employee Mae Ann Maningning.

BFAR Veterinarian Samantha Licuden said the hook in its mouth might have killed the sea creature. She said the Turtle could have been dead for two to three days before its discovery.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

A dead Sea Turtle found at Prk. 11, Baybay Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani Province
9 o’clock in the morning, January 26, 2017.

In process of its decomposition (Est. 2-4wks)
Disposal: Buried

Credits to Bantay Dagat and DENR Staff
Sir Noel Lumanta and Romeo Nobleza
ECPC Staff Chundy Bartulaba and Joylyn Ramirez Dayondon

Source: Merry Chrisse Kim Facebook

A decomposing carcass of a marine turtle was found in the mangroves at Prk. 11, Baybay Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani Province this morning.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

The carcass has been identified as a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) in the comments of the original post.

This is the second unfortunate incident that a Turtle was hacked/cut in the head in Barangay Kawas, Alabel Sarangani resulting to its death. We reported this to DENR-PASu/PAMB Office after receiving a call from the Philippine Coast Guard about the said beaching of a Turtle. This happened last December 17, 2016 at 9:00 o’clock in the morning. Kawas is known to have seaweeds culture run by fishermen’s associations, who sometimes (if not always) consider Turtles, particularly the Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas), as pests to their cultured seaweeds.

We hope that this will be investigated further by PAMB.

Source: Jopy Caneda, on Sarangani Wildlife Protection and Rescue Team Network Facebook Group

The carcass of a Sea Turtle was discovered at the Changi Beach on Monday morning (Jan 2).
Photos: Chandran V. R.

Mangled Sea Turtle found along Changi Beach
3rd January 2017;

The mangled carcass of a Sea Turtle was discovered at Changi Beach on Monday morning (Jan 2). The metre-long Turtle was found with its shell sliced open.

“I was jogging in between the beach and the jogging track, and the stench caught my attention,” said Mr Chandran V. R., who shared photos of the grisly find. “There was a very big gash on the Turtle that was probably caused by a propeller. It was probably dead for at least one or two days.”

Mr Chandran added: “It is very sad to see such a graceful and rare giant Turtle lay dead on our shores. We can learn from (the incident).”

“I hope more can be done (in terms of raising awareness) to avoid such tragedies in future, especially for our endangered animals,“ he said.

Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said it received feedback about the Sea Turtle at Changi Beach and alerted the National Environment Agency to clear the carcass.

Mr Stephen Beng, chairman of the Singapore Nature Society’s Marine Conservation Group, told the AFP that the creature appeared to be a female Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), which the environmental group WWF has classified as endangered.

"From the injury scars, it most definitely was a boat strike. The propeller mark was likely from a large one and it seems the turtle was making a dash for cover,” Mr Beng said.

He highlighted that marine animals are at risk from boats because Singapore is one of the world’s busiest ports and its shipping lanes “bisect the longer coastal beaches of our main island from the richer coral reefs of our southern islands”.

Mr Beng urged boat crew to be vigilant to avoid hitting wildlife and said they should ideally maintain a distance of 50 metres and slow down when animals are sighted.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

The Sea Turtle was believed to have been cut by a ship propeller. 
Photos: Chandran V. R.

Badly cut 1m-long Sea Turtle found dead along Changi Beach
By Lydia Lam, 2nd January 2017;

A Sea Turtle more than a metre long was found dead along Changi Beach on Monday (Jan 2), believed to have been cut by a ship propeller.

ST reader Chandran V. R. told The Straits Times that he had been jogging at about 8.30am when he saw the carcass from a distance.

“At first I thought – how come this bulky item is there. Initially I didn’t know what it was,” said the 46-year-old managing director of a real estate agency.

He had been jogging along the Casuarina Cove Trail, near the Changi Ferry Terminal, when he noticed a bad smell.

Mr Chandran went closer and saw a dead Turtle, more than a metre long, on the sand.

“It looked like it had been dead for at least two to three days,” he said.

He then contacted the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), as he “didn’t want anyone to disrespect this carcass”.

“It is a beautiful creature which got into trouble and lay dead on our shores. I just wanted the carcass to be discarded respectfully,” said Mr Chandran.

He added that he believes AVA has retrieved the carcass, based on location markers he sent to them.

“You don’t usually get to see a Turtle of that size in Singapore waters,” he said.

The Straits Times has contacted AVA for more information.

Ms Anbarasi Boopal, deputy chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), expressed dismay at the Turtle’s death.

She told The Straits Times that Acres had previously rescued an injured Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) which was also possibly hit by a propeller.

It was rehabilitated and released back to the wild.

A Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) carcass washed up on a beach at East Coast Park in July last year (2016).

A year before that (July 2015), a Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) carcass was found off Jurong Island, and its skeleton put up for exhibition at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in March last year (2016).

Source: The Straits Times

Based on the size of the carcass, this is probably a Green Turtle (Chelonia midas).