DENR marks ‘Pawikan Day’ by releasing 800 sea turtles in Zambales

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) released more than 800 hatchlings of marine turtles or “pawikan” in Subic Bay and the coastal areas of San Narciso and Masinloc towns in Zambales. 

This is part of the annual celebration of “Pawikan Day” which primarily aims to promote marine turtle protection and conservation efforts. 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo said the olive ridley sea turtles (???????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????) are important to the ecosystem. 

“Their existence is an important indicator of a balanced and healthy marine life,” he pressed.

Pablo likewise urged communities to help DENR in protecting marine species and other wildlife by reporting illegal activities, especially wildlife trade, to the authorities. 

Olive ridley, also known as the Pacific ridley, is the second smallest and most abundant species of sea turtles in the world. It thrives in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  

In Central Luzon, these species nests in the coastal towns of Morong in Bataan, San Antonio in Zambales, and in some coastal areas of Aurora.

Due to their vulnerability to extinction, the species are protected by Section 27 of Republic Act 9147, otherwise known as the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act,” which prohibits collecting, hunting, and possessing of wildlife and their by-products and derivatives.

Anyone found guilty of violating the law shall be imprisoned to a maximum of two years and shall be fined of up to P200,000, if inflicted against endangered species. 

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