Saturday, May 19, 2018

Badoc villagers help release baby sea turtles

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—About 23 baby marine turtles, locally known as “pawikan”, emerged from their nest near a picnic area at Brgy. Pagsanahan Norte in Badoc, Ilocos Norte and crawled into the open sea to begin their voyage from their birth place.

A villager Danlito Gamaio witnessed this as he was supposed to gather seaweeds at about 6:30 a.m. he immediately reported the said incident to the barangay chairperson and the nearest office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR).

According to the barangay’s residents, their coastal village is a favorite nesting place of sea turtle.

Through information drive from environmentalists, some people here have become aware that sea turtles are endangered species and must be protected.

Rhoel Valdez Marcelo, ecosystems management specialist of the DENR confirmed this as he reported another villager Roman Madalipay narrated that on December 28 last year, he saw a sea turtle crawl toward the shoreline and dig a hole to lay its eggs.

The DENR was able to verify the report as two other nests were found near where the hatchlings emerged.

To protect the nests from predators and poachers, the DENR advised local officials and residents to immediately report it to concerned authorities so they could put up fence and help secure the area.

Over the years, local environment officials have continuously monitored the stretch of Ilocos Nortes shoreline from Badoc to Pagudpud towns for sea turtle nesting areas.

The provincial fishery division of the Ilocos Norte government and local government units have included in their information campaigns the conservation and protection of this endangered species.

“The presence of sea turtles in Ilocos Norte is a manifestation of its rich and clean environment,” said fishery regulatory officer Arthur Valente of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Agriculture Office who also helped in the release of the marine turtles.

Authorities appealed to fishermen to turn over to them sea turtles and other marine mammals in case they catch them.

With this, the local government is now planning to establish a sanctuary for the preservation of these endangered species.

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