An Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtle trapped in a fishnet was rescued by two brothers who are fishermen at around eight o’clock in the morning on February 6, 2023.

Brothers Joemar Avanceña and Ronel Avanceña found the Olive ridley while they were fishing at the mouth of Ilog–Hilabangan River, located at So. Mapaet, Brgy. Suay, Himamaylan City. Seeing the need to report it to the proper authorities, the brothers contacted the city ENRO. Then, responding to the call, Himamaylan City ENR Officer Armela Waldato informed Supervising Ecosystem Management Specialist (SVEMS) Lucia Salazar of DENR CENRO Kabankalan City of the incidence.

Kabankalan City ENRO dispatched Ascencion Santocildes, chief of the Conservation and Development Section, to the site. Santocildes and his team assessed the Olive ridley and measured its carapace to be 63 centimeters long and 65 centimeters wide. It has an estimated weight of 30 kilograms. The turtle was also tagged with # PH1296K.

Since the turtle is in good shape, it was immediately released back to the sea water by the DENR team after the tagging.

The Olive ridley is a small sea turtle and has powerful jaws for an omnivore diet of crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps. No wonder they are generally found in coastal bays and estuaries, but also dwell in the oceans in some parts of its habitat. They would usually dive to a depth of 500 feet and feed on bottom dwelling crustaceans.

Its name is derived from its olive-colored carapace. It is listed as Vulnerable (VU) in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“We are thankful for the ready help that are usually given by our fishermen and local folks especially in the coastal areas where marine turtles are rescued. Such actions contribute not only to the conservation of these marine turtles, but also to the preservation of our rich marine biodiversity as well,” said Livino B. Duran, DENR 6 regional executive director.

“Protecting the environment is not the sole job of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). We need all the help that our communities can give to protect and conserve our natural resources,” he added.