55 sea turtle deaths in Terengganu last year

KUALA TERENGGANU: A total of 55 sea turtle deaths were recorded in Terengganu by the state Fisheries Department last year.Its director Ruzaidi Mamat said although it showed a decrease compared with 78 deaths in 2019, he believed there were still many deaths which were unreported.

“For the first five months of this year, only 20 deaths have been reported to us and we hope this number will continue to drop following less ‘disruption’ in Terengganu waters during this period.

“Usually, turtle deaths are due to being caught in fishing nets and accidents after being hit by a tourist boat propeller. There was only one recent case of a brutal killing of a female turtle to steal her eggs in Pulau Kapas, Marang,” he said.He did not rule out the possibility that restrictions in the tourism industry since the movement control order in March last year had contributed to the drop in turtle deaths in Terengganu.

In the meantime, he said a total of 8,195 nests were recorded last year involving 1,024 nesting females.

“This number shows an increase compared with the 7,913 turtle nests detected involving 990 turtles in 2019,” he said.

“Throughout last year, a total of 662,097 eggs were incubated at 48 landing beaches and 443,721 baby turtles were released.” — Bernama

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