A sea turtle or pawikan was freed after it was trapped in the nets of one of the fishermen off the seas of barangay Bahay, Sibonga town yesterday.
Joel Banlasan turned the 16-inch sea turtle over to the Sibonga police station at past 11 a.m.
Since the offices of the Department of Natural Resources and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources were closed yesterday, SPO1 Antonio Sanchez of the Sibonga Police Station told Banlasan to return the turtle to sea because it was becoming weak.
Sanchez said the fishermen in Sibonga are all aware that pawikan or sea turtles are endangered species, that’s why Banlasan reported the incident immediately to the police.
The Wildlife Conservation Act (Republic Act No. 9147) prohibits the killing of wildlife which includes turtles. Those caught violating the law will face a fine ranging from P10,000 to P100,000 and face imprisonment of six months to one year./Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan