7 live, 140 chemically preserved hawksbill turtles found in Palawan

By: - Correspondent / @demptoanda
/ 10:35 PM December 07, 2014

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Navy in Palawan announced Sunday that it had recovered 140 chemically preserved marine turtles hidden and buried in the shores of a coastal village in Balabac town awaiting shipment into the turtle black market trade.

The marine turtles, all hawksbill species, were wrapped in plastic bags filled with the preservative formaldehyde and buried in the sands in Sitio (sub-village) Mansalangan, Barangay (village) Sebaring in Balabac, said Lt. Ariesh Climacosa, spokesman for the Naval Forces West (Navforwest).


Seven live turtles were also recovered in a secluded mangrove area. Authorities decided to free the turtles immediately after they were recovered at the port of Balabac, he said.

Climacosa said authorities have not yet determined who were responsible for the wildlife poaching but cited information gathered from local residents that the turtles were kept while the poachers waited for their buyer.


Also recovered from the area was a roll of turtle net locally called “pukot.”

The recovery was made on November 30 by members of the Naval Station Narciso del Rosario headed by Lt. Kiram Sadava, PN, and the Balabac police, said Climacosa.

The area where the turtles were found was the same general area in Balabac where other incidents of illegal sea turtle trade had been reported. Authorities have determined that the turtles were often gathered by locals and sold to illegal Chinese traders.

Last week, a Palawan regional trial court imposed stiff fines against nine Chinese nationals arrested for turtle poaching near Hasa Hasa Shoal in the disputed Spratlys, an area which authorities believe was a trading post where Chinese buyers and Filipino turtle suppliers often meet to conduct illegal trade.

Hawksbill turtles, so named due to their hawk-like head features, are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered and close to extinction.

Compared with other endangered species like the green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles don’t grow so big and are considered ideal sizes for wall ornaments and decors.

Sea turtles freed; Chinese fishermen held


123 sea turtles rescued from Chinese poachers off Palawan
20 Vietnamese fishermen nabbed for poaching turtles off Palawan

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Ariesh Climacosa, Balabac, Global Nation, Hawksbill Turtles, illegal trade, Naval Forces West, Palawan, Philippine Navy, Poaching, Seizure, Smuggling, Wildlife Trafficking
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.