Friday, September 25, 2009

Endangered sea turtle released in central Vietnam

Endangered sea turtle released in central Vietnam

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A 120-kilogram endangered turtle was released into the sea on Thursday in the central province of Phu Yen.

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas), whose shell is 140 centimeters long and 100 centimeters broad, was caught on September 10 by fishermen in Hoa Hiep Trung Commune.

Local resident Nguyen Ngoc Son bought the turtle from the fishermen and began raising it on his own.

But he then decided to ask the Phu Yen Aquatic Resources Protection Department to release it, as the turtle was in its reproductive period

The department had previously released a 50-kilogram-plus turtle caught by local fishermen in Xuan Hai Commune.

The turtle is classified as endangered by International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List of Threatened Species. Researchers estimate that the sea turtle’s population size has been reduced by more than 50 percent over the past decade.

Several human practices have cut down the species’ numbers, including hunting them for their flesh and their eggs, which can be served as a delicacy.

Reported by Minh Nguyet

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