Activist: Turtle landing sites at risk, caused by sand mining

IPOH: Silica sand mining along the Pasir Panjang beach in Segari is threatening turtle landing sites, says an environmental group.

Environmental Activists Society secretary Noor Ismady Ahmad Radzuan said drones captured sand mining footage near the Sungai Puyu and Puyu Tanjung Hantu estuary of the beach in Manjung district near here. He expressed concern over the impact of the sand mining activities, which were also being carried out at night, on the ecosystem.

“The turtle landing season is between March and September.

“We are worried that the activities would affect turtles coming to the shore to lay eggs,” he said yesterday.

Noor Ismady said the society received several visuals from villagers of barges docking at the area on March 27, and activists went to check this about a week later.

“Drone footage showed that there was a barge at the temporary jetty, but no movement of any machinery.

“Then, on April 4, we received complaints from local fishermen that their work was being disturbed by the presence of a barge and anchor tugboats along the long sandy beach, a main turtle landing place in Perak.

“The fishermen said they could not drift their nets,” he added.

Noor Ismady said the society was also tipped off on the location of another ship near Pangkor island. Based on drone footage, he said most of the mining sites were not covered again.

When contacted, Perak science, environment and green technology committee chairman Teh Kok Lim said he would alert the state Land and Mines Department as well as the Minerals and Geoscience Department to check on the complaints.

“Striking a balance between conservation and development is always challenging,” he said.

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