Phu Quoc Island, dated 19 July 2013 – One Hawksbill turtle weighing 9kg and one Green turtle weighing 12 kg were successfully tagged and released back to the Gulf of Thailand despite the storm and thus big waves this morning. In the past six years, WAR have successfully rescued and released more than 25 sea turtles. However, this is the first time, the rescued sea turtles have been tagged for releasing. The iron tags including Vietnam code and WAR email help to identify the sea turtles in case they are caught or observed.
The Hawksbill was confiscated from a Pearl Company on Phu Quoc Island. At the same time, the Green Turtle was handed over voluntary by Mr. Tri Nguyen Huu – a fisher man on Phu Quoc Island. According to Mr. Tri, the Green Turtle was sold in market with a fish hook. At that time, the Green Turtle weighed only 6kg. Some trader wanted to pay two million Vietnam Dong or 100 US dollars for this Green Turtle. However, his family rather raised the Green Turtle and then released it than killed or sold it.
Mr. Tri joined the team and travel 20 km away from South point of An Thoi to release the sea turtles. After being released, the two turtles raised their heads over the waves twice before diving down to the freedom ocean as if they were thankful and saying goodbye to the working team.
Mr. Khoi Nguyen Vu – WAR’s CEO expressed that, “WAR is highly appreciated Mr.Tri’s action and do hope that more any more people will act like him in order to save our endangered marine species and our beautiful sea”.
The rescue and release activities were conducted by WAR staff, Phu Quoc Marine Protect Areas and the special working team that includes representatives from different functional agencies. This is one of a project activities entitled “Conservation of Dugong and endangered marine species in Phu Quoc and Tho Chu Islands”, implemented by WAR and Phu Quoc Marine Protected Area from 2013-2015. The project is a WAR’s response to the discovery of Dugong trade network on Phu Quoc Island last year (August 2008).