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Sea Turtle Death Rate In Terengganu Alarming – Fisheries Dept

KUALA TERENGGANU, July 9 — The sea turtle death rate in Terengganu is alarming, with 55 cases recorded by the State Fisheries Department last year.

Its director, Ruzaidi Mamat said although the number showed a decrease compared with 78 deaths in 2019, he believed there were still many deaths that were not reported to the department.

“For the first five months of this year, only 20 deaths have been reported to the department and we hope this number will continue to drop following less ‘disruption’ in Terengganu waters during this period.

“Usually, turtle deaths are reported due to being caught in fishing nets and accidents due to being hit by a tourist boat propeller. There was only one recent case of brutal killing a female turtle to steal her eggs in Pulau Kapas, Marang,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

He also did not rule out the possibility that restrictions in the tourism industry since the Movement Control Order (MCO) implemented in March last year, also contributed to the drop in turtle deaths in Terengganu.

In the meantime, he said a total of 8,195 nests were recorded last year involving 1,024 nesting females.

“This number shows an increase compared with the 7,913 turtle nests detected involving 990 turtles in 2019.

“Throughout last year, a total of 662,097 eggs have been incubated at 48 landing beaches and 443,721 baby turtles have been released into the sea. On average, only one in every 1,000 hatchlings will grow while the rest are eaten by predators at sea,” he said.

Based on the department’s records, green turtle landings in Terengganu have also shown a significant increase compared with the beginning of the conservation programme.

“In the 1990s, turtle landings were less than 5,000 nests a year but after 20 years, it doubled with the highest record in 2016 of 10,040 landings. It is hoped that this conservation effort continues to receive cooperation from the community so that these endangered animals can be protected for future generations,” he said.

Sources: BERNAMA

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