Tagging turtles

Collecting data: Kamarlin (left) helping to tag a turtle after launching the Mabul Turtle Day.

KOTA KINABALU: A tagging exercise of sea turtles off the renowned Pulau Mabul in Sabah’s east coast have reaffirmed that the marine creatures are nomads of the seas.

A female turtle that was caught near the island and tagged as part of the Mabul Turtle Day 2015 event had an original tag indicating that it had at one time been in the Philippines.

Volunteers involved in the tagging activities also caught several turtles that were originally tagged at the Turtle Islands Park off Sandakan.

It was interesting to note that out of the 74 turtles we caught, 61 were juveniles and living healthily amongst Mabul’s reef system,” said Luke Cox, the general manager of Borneo Divers and Sea Sports that organised the event.

In all, volunteers caught 65 Green and nine Hawksbill turtles during the event held from May 18 to 21. It was launched by Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Kamarlin Ombi.

Volunteers and Mabul islanders alike also carried out clean up operations on land and underwater resulting the collection of some 140kgs of plastic waste.

When launching the event, Kamarlin said the activities would help shape the future of Sabah’s turtle population.

It was for this reason the ministry had provided a RM25,000 grant for the event to be held.

Other groups involved in the Mabul Turtle Day include Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s Borneo Marine Research Institute.

Funding and support for the event this year also came from Borneo Divers as the host resort, Borneo Connections, SMART resort, Monosopiad Cultural Village, Aunties Homemade Lihing and Sabah Tourism Board.

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