Friday, December 13

Sea turtle conservation urgently needed – UMS

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KOTA KINABALU: With the recent reports of 60 dead turtles found in waters off Kudat as well as the four turtle carcasses found in Semporna and the two dead turtles found off Labuan, sea turtle conservation is urgently needed, now more than ever.

“Sea turtles are Sabah’s icon and we hope we can all work together to conserve this precious protected species,” said Universiti Malaysia Sabah in a statement.

In this regard, UMS is co-organising a follow-up workshop on Sea Turtle Conservation on Mabul Island on May 14, in conjunction with the ‘Mabul World Turtle Day 2014’ celebration from May 12-15 this year.

The organisers said in a statement that UMS commenced research on sea turtles in Sabah in 1998.

The most recent project conducted was the celebration of ‘Mabul Turtle Day 2013’ on May 22-24 last year which was co-organised by UMS together with several Sabah and federal government agencies, the private sector and voluntary organizations.

One of the main objectives of the event was also to educate the locals and visitors to Mabul Island about the importance of the resident sea turtles that inhabit the reefs off Mabul.

During the event, UMS said they caught 44 green and Hawksbill turtles. The research team had also tagged 207 green and 21 hawksbill turtles in Mabul Island since its research works in Mabul began in August 2010.

The workshop is targeted at residents in Mabul, including primary school students in the area as well as resort staff and guests there.

It is hoped that this workshop will achieve its aim to enhance public appreciation of these magnificent marine animals.