In a recent survey conducted by CCEF in the municipal waters of Barangay Coro and Mananggal, alarming findings have shed light on the critical need for conservation efforts to protect the green sea turtle population. The survey, conducted by local authorities and marine experts, revealed that these waters serve as crucial resting and feeding sites for the green sea turtle species, scientifically known as Chelonia mydas.
The green sea turtle, is one of the six endangered species of sea turtles known to live in the Philippines. As a herbivore during its adult stage, C. mydas heavily relies on seagrasses as its primary source of food. To ensure the preservation of this vital habitat, experts are recommending a comprehensive biophysical assessment to evaluate the condition of the coral reefs and seagrass beds to preserve sea turtle habitats.
CCEF, in collaboration with the Municipality of Dalaguete, will use data from routine sea turtle inventory assessments of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) to support the identification of turtle sighting spots of interest. This will help in the protection and conservation of these endangered marine species.
According to Dalaguete Municipal Agriculture and Natural Resources Office (MANRO), there were reported sea turtle nesting activities in the sandy shores of Barangay Poblacion, specifically in the years 2004 and 2008. However, a recent ocular survey has confirmed that the identified site has now been transformed into a residential and boat docking area. It is presumed that the nesting sites have been lost over time due to beach development.
During a session held by the municipal council, members of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) and the Chairman of the Maritime Police shared their own reported turtle sightings, nesting activities, and stranding cases. These discussions have prompted the development of a comprehensive scientific study on sea turtle activities throughout the municipality. The study aims to identify other potential sites that require immediate protection and conservation measures.
The issue of poaching and illegal sea turtle meat trade remains a significant concern in the municipality. The Maritime Police have expressed their worries and are taking steps to strengthen the law enforcement team to apprehend the perpetrators behind these illegal activities. The municipality of Dalaguete is committed to combating poaching and ensuring the safety of sea turtles within its waters.
To establish uniform ordinances and activities related to sea turtle conservation, it is recommended that legislations be extended to the Southeast Cebu Coastal Resource Management Council. This collaborative effort will help streamline conservation efforts and ensure the long-term protection of sea turtles within the ADABOSS (Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, and Samboan) area.
The municipality of Dalaguete recognizes the urgency of protecting its sea turtle population and is committed to implementing measures to safeguard these magnificent creatures. Through collaborative efforts, scientific studies, and strengthened law enforcement, the municipality aims to preserve its marine biodiversity and ensure a sustainable future for the green sea turtles in Barangay Coro and Mananggal.
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