A total of 72 “pawikan” (marine turtle) hatchlings have been released on Sunday at their natural marine habitat along the shorelines of Barangay Labac in this coastal town.
A group of environmentalists from “Save the Seas”, students, local leaders and officials from Cavite Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) participated in the coastal marine resources activities in a bid to protect and propagate the dwindling sea turtle species.
“We are here to witness the release the hatchlings into the sea as their natural habitat as they rejoin their family species,” said “Save the Seas” lead environmentalist Ruschel Nava.
Cavite PENRO officer Andrea Panganiban, University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) faculty Dr. Rina de Luna, and Labac village officials lead the activity, along with students and local residents.
Nava said that female marine turtles normally lay eggs 3 to 5 times over a 2-week interval during the breeding season from November to February, and the eggs are expected to hatch 70 days later.
“First time po namin ito to conduct pawikan release (This is our first time to conduct the release of sea turtles) but we will be doing this for the long run now,” Nava said.
According to village officials, they started to witness female sea turtles laying eggs by the village shoreline on October 30 and they made sure the laying sites and the marine turtle eggs are well protected from unscrupulous persons, knowing these eggs would be hatched after approximately 70 days.
In nearby Noveleta town, village residents of San Rafael 3 also found a sea turtle, about 20 inches long and 14 inches wide, weighing around 7 kilos, crawling by the seashore, and called the attention of the village officials who requested the local folks to protect and return it back to the sea. (PNA)
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