The turtle weighed 200 kilograms, 62 inches long and 35 inches wide. So far, it was the biggest and heaviest marine turtle ever rescued in the municipality. After a tag was being placed on the turtle’s flipper, it was brought to the Sibanug Reef situated at the Dumanquillas Bay using a passenger’s pump boat and released the turtle back to the sea . But sad to note that, the plucky turtle was on its own because at present , no sanctuary for marine turtles is available in the immediate area of Margosatubig.
MARGOSATUBIG, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, Philippines –
A fisherman named Danny Ang of Sitio Asinan, Barangay Tulapok this municipality accidentally caught and rescued a rare marine turtle off the coast of Margosatubig on Friday, April 15, 2011.
The fisherman who caught the turtle said, that the turtle somehow got entangled with the net of one of the seaweed plantations at early dawn on Friday. After freeing the turtle, they immediately brought it to the nearby shore and one of the Bantay Dagat Volunteers immediately contacted the local authorities.
A team from the Local Government Unit represented by Mrs. Flordeliza Saladaga and Mr. Andres P. Limatoc from the Offices of the Department of Agriculture and the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator respectively, together with the PNP Personnel headed by Chief of Police – Mansueto Martinez, immediately rushed to the location to confirm the validity of the information received. Saladaga – an Agricultural Technologist from the Department of Agriculture said, that the turtle caught by the fisherman was a Leatherback Sea Turtle, which is included in the list of endangered species.
Accordingly, the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest of all living sea turtles and the fourth largest modern reptile behind three crocodilians. It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh. Dermochelys coriacea is the only extant member of the family Dermochelyidae. Moreover, the Leatherback Sea Turtle is one of several species of marine turtles found in the Philippines which is normally seen on small islands of Palawan and Mindoro.
Saladaga said, it was her first time to see this kind of sea turtle and the first time a Leatherback sea turtle was caught in the coast of Margosatubig.