Labuan's concerted efforts in turtle conservation bear fruit

LABUAN: Concerted efforts to boost the turtle population by the relevant authorities here are bearing fruit.

To this end, 9,543 hatchlings (98.01%) from 10,450 eggs had been released into the wild through four landing sites in Labuan between 2011 and 2015.

One of the three marine parks of Rusukan Besar Island became the most strategic landing place for two species, hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata) and green turtle (Chelonia Mydas) with 4,857 eggs during the period.

Malaysia Marine Park, Labuan director Anuar Deraman said the department recorded 3,506 eggs on Rusukan Kecil Island, followed by Kuraman Island with 2,206 eggs and Kiansam (ungazetted marine park), 231 eggs.

"Overall, the life percentage of the hatched eggs increased every year since 2011. Our efforts to conserve turtles by hatching their eggs and releasing the hatchlings into the sea since five years ago are succeeding," he told Bernama today.

Anuar said at least 20 nests were recorded every year with an average of three parent turtle landings on the four beaches.

The strategic landing sites, with no beach erosion are the factors behind the increased number of turtle landings," he said.

He said experienced and well-trained rangers handling the eggs during the transfer to the hatchery also helped the increased release of hatchlings into the sea.

Anuar said the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Labuan was also working closely with the department to monitor any related illegal activities in the water around the marine parks.

He said the turtle conservation and protection exercise in the marine parks could be transformed into an eco-tourism product to support the efforts of the Labuan Corporation and Tourism Ministry. — Bernama