MAITUM, SARANGANI PROVINCE – A female Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) commonly known as"Pawikan" returned to its natural habitat after it was released recently in Sarangani Bay by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 and its partners.
Kiamba Community ENR Officer Dr. Ali M. Hadjinasser together with Maitum Mayor Alexander Bryan Reganit, partner stakeholders,some personnel of the DENR and local government unit
of Maitum witnessed the releasing of the marine species at the coastal waters of Sitio Saub, Maitum town on February 3.
Marlon Rivera, a resident of Sitio Agoto in Brgy. Mabay said that he spotted the Pawikan around 5 o’clock in the morning of February 3.
The sea turtle has a curved carapace length (CCL) of 25.5cm, curved carapace width (CCW) of 24cm, estimated weight of 20 kilograms and a tag on its right flipper before it was released in the bay.
CENRO Hadjinasser said that the releasing of the Pawikan is a manifestation that the coastal waters of Maitum is still abundant in marine wildlife and other resources.
“The marine resources in the area are still intact. We need to have a good conservation strategies and efforts to preserve the area,” CENRO Hadjinasser said.
Mayor Reganit expressed his gladness during the releasing of the species due to the richness of marine resources in his town.
The official said that everyone should do its part to maintain and preserve the resources of Maitum.
“We fully support the programs and projects of the DENR in protecting the environment and natural resources,” Mayor Reganit said.
DENR-12 Regional Executive Director Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, CESO IV lauded the releasing of sea turtle and reminded the public to help the agency in protecting and preserving the marine resources.
“Everyone should be mindful in managing their wastes to minimize the incidents of injured and dead marine species caused by improper waste management and disposal,” Dr. Abubacar said.
He added that the protection of the environment is not the sole responsibility of the DENR but the obligation of all the stakeholders. # # #