Turtles are one of the important reptiles in the marine ecosystem as they help maintain healthy sea grass beds and coral reefs that benefits commercial species such as shrimp, lobster, and tuna.

Rescuing marine turtles is part of conserving our biodiversity such that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) deemed it important for people to report rescued marine turtles and other animals to the authorities.

A female Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was rescued in Sito Lacaran, Brgy. Ermita, Dumangas, Iloilo around 9:00 o’clock in the evening of August 12, 2021. The turtle was found by a fisherfolk along the seashore and was immediately reported to the Community ENR Office (CENRO) in Barotac Nuevo. The marine animal was measured with a length of 84 cm. and width of 63.5 cm and has an estimated weight of 100kgs.

It was in good condition and was tagged with PH 1775M prior to its release back to the wild at Lapus-lapus Fish Sanctuary in Paloc, Dumangas, Iloilo. The area is a proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA).

In Brgy. Montpiller, Buenavista Guimaras, a Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) turtle was rescued last August 18, 2021. Staff from the Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation/Coastal Unit (PAMBCU) of Provincial ENR Office (PENRO) in Guimaras assessed and observed the condition of the Hawksbill that was accidentally trapped inside the gill net. The reptile was tagged with PH0965J.

The Green Sea turtle is classified as endangered while the Hawksbill is critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Saving marine animals such as turtles helps a lot in enhancing biodiversity conservation, one of the top priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.