Sea turtle poaching thrives in Southern Palawan
PALAWAN - More than a hundred sea turtles were found dead by local authorities in an abandoned motor boat in Barangay Taratak, Bataraza last Tuesday.
According to the Provincial Law Enforcement Task Force, the poachers were able to escape before they reached the area.
The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PSCD) had the dead sea turtles transported from Bataraza to Puerto Princesa City for identification and documentation.
The council found that the turtles were all Hawksbill sea turtles.
Hawksbill sea turtles are currently on the verge of extinction. They are categorized as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
These are also considered today as the most endangered of all seven species of sea turtles. They are illegally hunted for their flesh, shell, and eggs.
Initial investigation revealed that the dead Hawksbill turtles were supposed to be delivered to Vietnam.
The PCSD condemned the massive poaching of Hawksbill sea turtles.
They hope to stop this illegal activity by intensifying the education and information campaign in Bataraza, and by strengthening law enforcement in the place.
Under the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (Republic Act 9174), it is unlawful to collect, hunt or possess wildlife, their by-products and derivatives.
Once identified, the poachers of these sea turtles may face six to twelve years of imprisonment.