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With a little help, Phuket's elderly turtle heads for the water once more

Phuket's Giant Turtle Wins His Freedom

Saturday, July 25, 2009
A LARGE green turtle, suffering from a hole in its carapace caused by illegal fishermen, has recovered and was released today.

The turtle, about 100 kilos and more than 50 years old was fitted with a microchip to enable researchers at Phuket's Marine Biology Centre to keep track of his movements.

Turtles of this age are rare because of overfishing. This one had a narrow escape and was fortunate to be rescued.

Officers from the Marine and Coastal Resources Department Region 5 found the turtle tied to an anchor and trapped underwater a few kilometers offshore in April.

Since then, the turtle has been recovering with care and treatment to repair the wound at the Marine Biology Centre on Cape Panwa.

The head of the country's Marine Biology service, Wichan Tawichai, joined colleagues at Cape Panwa today for the turtle's release.

Khun Wichan said that Koh Racha, Phi Phi, and all of Phang Nga Bay were still suffering from overfishing by illegal trawlers and longtail boats.

However, he said that 28 longtails identified as fishing illegally in the Phuket region had been arrested and the crews had been persuaded to follow the law in future.

Three more longtails, he said, were still known offenders.

Turtles were sensitive to their environment and if Phuket's waters were not maintained properly, there would be no chance of green turtles returning.

Green turtles can live to be 80 while other species have been recorded living as long as 200 years or more.

In modern times, though, living 50 years in the wild, with mankind as the main predator, is considered to be an advanced age.

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Comments

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"the crews had been persuaded to follow the law in future." Gotta love the land of no consequences! Destroy the sustainability and natural resources of your country, ruin tourism, torture animals, decimate the food supply and be persuaded to follow the law in the future. I hope that included some sort of education. As if.

Posted by Vfaye on July 25, 2009 20:49


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