Workshop to uncover mystery of missing turtles

(Left) A Leatherback turtle. (Above) The Olive Ridley turtle. — Filepic

BESUT: A special workshop will be held in October to uncover the mystery of the two missing turtle species that have not landed on Terengganu beaches over the last few years.

State Fisheries director Zawawi Ali said Terengganu beaches were once popular landing spots for four of the seven species of turtles in the world, namely the Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Hawksbill and Green sea turtles.

“We are worried because the Leatherback and Olive Ridley turtles have not come ashore to lay their eggs for quite some time now.

“The workshop will collect data to be analysed by experts from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Turtle and Marine Ecosystem Centre, WWF-Malaysia and parties involved in turtle conservation to find solutions to the problem and make sure the two species come back to Terengganu,” he said after conducting a briefing on turtle conservation awareness for resort operators, boat drivers and local communities in Pulau Perhentian here.

Zawawi said there was no Olive Ridley turtle landing on Terengganu beaches since 2003.

“The Leatherback also has not landed in Terengganu for a long time. The last landing was in 2010. However, at the end of 2017, we found 92 Leatherback turtle eggs at Pantai Rhu Cikgu area near Rantau Abang in Dungun but the eggs never hatched.

He said the number of Hawksbill and Green sea turtles landing in Terengganu showed a decline too compared to 10 years ago. — Bernama

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