Pieces of plastic floating in the ocean often mistaken for food or jellyfish by turtles may be one of the reasons for their deaths. World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Malaysia Terengganu Turtle and Terrapin Conservation Programme chief Rahayu Zulkifli said shards of plastic were found in the stomach of dead turtles in the state. Thus, she urged the people, especially fishermen, to cooperate by not throwing plastics into the sea as they could kill turtles.
Speaking to Bernama at the launch of the WWF-Malaysia’s “Protect Our Turtles” campaign here today, she said WWF-Malaysia had taken various measures to increase the turtle population, including by buying turtle eggs for hatching with the assistance of the Fisheries Department. Rahayu said leatherback turtle was considered a critically endangered species as only 10 nesting areas were found in the state since 2000 compared to 10,000 areas a year in the 50’s. The green turtle is also listed as threatened even though many nesting areas were discovered in Terengganu, she said.
About 400 people, including tourists, who attended the campaign signed a pledge to help protect turtles and will not eat their eggs. The Terengganu Fisheries Department and the Kerteh District Heritage Society also took part in the campaign. Source: Bernama.com