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Saturday October 14, 2006

OK soon to sell turtle eggs


DUNGUN: The state government is expected to review the Fisheries Act to allow the issuance of licences to turtle egg traders here. 

State Agriculture and Regional Development committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee said that in an unprecedented move, the regulations would be amended to monitor the sales of turtle eggs. 

“We are in the midst of making a proposal, hopefully to be tabled by next year, so that licences can be issued to egg collectors and traders, making the activity legal,” he said after releasing 500 turtles hatchlings to the open sea along the shoreline at Rantau Abang here yesterday. 

Mohd Jidin said, currently, the sales of eggs from Terengganu beaches were prohibited and those caught doing so could face action. 

However, he noted that illegal sales were rife and difficult to control without a proper monitoring system. 

Quoting a recent report from The Star on the sale of turtle eggs in Pasar Payang here, he said the state government was concerned over the indiscriminate sales. 

He said with the issuance of the licence, the relevant authorities including the State Fisheries Department, could thwart any unlawful sales. 

He said the Turtle and Marine Ecosystem Center (Tumec) here was successful in incubating enormous number of eggs and realising the hatchlings back to the sea. 

Mohd Jidin said hundreds of hatchlings were released daily at Rantau Abang here. 

Earlier, some 500 hatchlings were released along the beach at Rantau Abang here in conjunction with the upcoming double festive season. 

The hatchlings headed straight to the open sea after they were released by Mohd Jidin, Tumec chief Kamarruddin Ibrahim and other local leaders. 

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