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Ocean South-East Asian Marine Turtle MOU website
13 Jul 06
RM5 Million for turtle management
Yahoo News 13 Jul 06
Malaysia to track leatherback turtles by satellite: report
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A Malaysian state is to conduct a million-dollar satellite study of turtle migration, focusing on the leatherback which is close to extinction, a report said.
The coastal state of Terengganu, famed for exotic islands and beaches, has allocated five million ringgit (1.35 million dollars) for the exercise, the Star newspaper said.
Mohamad Jidin Shafee, Terengganu state executive councillor, said the study would cover several turtle species, particularly leatherback sea turtles which are on the verge of extinction.
"The (transmitter installation) exercise (to study turtle migration) is expected to be held this September," he told the Star.
Terengganu conducted a similar study last year, attaching transmitters on four turtles to study their movements after laying eggs. The study showed that the turtles migrated to Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia after laying eggs in Terengganu, Mohamad said.
In the new study, officials will install transmitters on turtles at the same place chosen last year, Kemaman, to see where the turtles go this year, Mohamad added.
Conservationists have warned of a dramatic decline in turtle landings in Terengganu, from some 10,000 recorded every year in the 1960s. Last year only one leatherback turtle -- the most endangered of Malaysia's turtles -- was sighted.
And for the first time in history, neither of the other important species -- Olive Ridley and hawksbill turtles -- landed at the traditional nesting sites.
The alarming development raised fears that the turtles may be lost forever from the beaches, which are a big draw for tourists who come to watch the egg-laying as well as the emergence of hatchlings.
Turtles are hunted for their meat and shell, and are also killed by getting entangled in fishing nets in the open seas. The tourism industry boom has contributed to the decline, with hotels and bright lights near the beachfront caused turtles to shy away.
Indian Ocean South-East Asian Marine Turtle MOU website 13 Jul 06
RM5 Million for turtle management
KUALA TERENGGANU, July 12 (Bernama) -- The Terengganu government has allocated RM5 million to manage and conduct a satellite study on turtle migration this year.
State Agriculture and Regional Development Committee Chairman, Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee said that the satellite study would involve several species and particularly the leatherback turtle which was beginning to become extinct.
"In this matter, the state government need not rely on the private sector to sponsor the turtle migration study as we can come up with the budget ourselves," he told Bernama here Wednesday.
In a study done by the state government through the Turtle and Marine Eco-system Centre last year, four green turtles were attached with transmitters costing some RM8,000 each.
Mohd Jidin said that two of the transmitters were contributed by Vodafone from the United Kingdom, while the others were bought by the state government. He said that the study was done to determine the turtles' movements after laying their eggs, and it was discovered that these turtles from Terengganu had migrated to Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.
"The area of Ma'Daerah in Kemaman will once again be the transmitter installation site, The exercise is expected to be held this September," he said. In a related development, he said that a portion of the RM5 million allocation would be spent on a breeding project of sea and river turtles which were facing extinction due to fishing nets.
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