A female Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) marine turtle was rescued recently at Brgy. Panobolon, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras through the efforts of Mr. Aljun Margallo, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) of the said town.

The turtle had a carapace curve length (CCL) of sixty-two (62) centimetres and a carapace curve width (CCW) of sixty-one centimetres. Unfortunately, its right flipper was amputated after it was tied-up by the locals before it was rescued. The Pawikan was then handed to the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) for its rehabilitation.

After the conduct of the Asian Waterbird Census in the Municipality of Nueva Valencia on January 11, 2023, the Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Unit (PAMBCU) team together with personnel from the Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMBCS) at the DENR 6 Regional Office received the marine turtle from SEAFDEC. It was brought to Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR) under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Guimaras for tagging and releasing back to its natural habitat.

“I would like to emphasize that it is our responsibility to care for our marine life. Marine turtles should not be kept as pets or caught for other purposes. They play an important role in the balance of our marine ecosystems. It you see a stranded marine turtle or if you accidentally caught a Pawikan, go to the nearest Field Office of DENR 6 to report the incident so that proper action can be done,” Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran said.