“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recognizes every effort that answers our call for the conservation of our marine turtles locally known as pawikan”, says DENR VIII Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr.
Director Parian particularly lauds a fisherman from Sitio Omas, Brgy. San Isidro, Biliran, Biliran who turned-over a marine turtle to the Philippine National Police in his hometown. According to the fisherman, he found the pawikan trapped in his fish coral (bono-an). To ensure that the pawikan is back safely to its natural habitat, he decided to turn it over to the PNP who immediately coordinated with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Biliran for its release.
Per assessment of technical staff from PENRO Biliran, the pawikan was identified as Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), measuring 43 cms in length and 42 cms in width. Before it was released, DENR metal tag with serial number PH1084K was placed on its right flipper. Staff from PENRO Biliran together with PNP personnel and some fishermen facilitated the release of the pawikan, the same day it was turned-over to authorities.
The DENR is encouraging the community to turn-over captured or rescued pawikan to authorities and report any sightings of the species to the nearest DENR office for proper care and immediate release to its natural habitat.
The green sea turtle is listed as endangered per DENR Administrative Order 2019-09 dated July 12, 2019, thus the government is moving for stronger conservation measures to address the continuing decline of marine turtles in the country.