LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – A fisherman in Balatan town, Camarines Sur, on Thursday, November 22, hauled to shore a 500-kilo leatherback turtle that got entangled in a net in Ragay Gulf early that morning.
Nonie Enolva, regional spokesperson of Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said that fisherman Alberto Pasamba caught the leatherback turtle off the coast of Pararao village in Balatan.
Enolva said the female turtle weighed 500 kilograms and has a carapace length of 1.75 meters. It sustained superficial bruises from the net entanglement, she said.
After getting checked and treated by a veterinarian, the turtle was safely released back to the sea, said Enolva.
Enolva said it was the second time for fishermen to accidentally catch a leatherback sea turtle in the same area, making Balatan town a hotspot for marine turtles. In July, fishermen caught a smaller leatherback turtle, she added.
“Balatan can be considered as a hotspot area for marine turtles due to frequent stranding. Ragay Gulf is considered as rich in plankton, the primary food source for the rest of other marine species in the food chain,” Enolva said.
The BFAR official said there are a lot green sea turtles in the area as Ragay Gulf is in the turtles’ migration path, along with Burias Pass and Ticao Pass. – Rappler.com
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