16 January 2016

Olive ridley sea turtle rescued by Olongapo fishermen

OLONGAPO CITY – Three fishermen rescued an olive ridley sea turtle on Friday at the lighthouse area in Barangay Kalaklan.

Roel Avia, Dennis Galvez, and Kevin Del Pilar found the 22-inch sea turtle at the lighthouse area Friday morning. The three teenagers turned over the marine animal to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Ecology Department.

SBMA Deputy Administrator Atty. Chot Kabigting said that the teenagers turned over the sea turtle, fearing that the animal might get tangled up in fishing nets if released near the shore. He ordered the SBMA Harbor Patrol to release the sea turtle away from the fishing nets.

The Ecology Dept. tagged the animal and hopes to see it migrate again in Subic Bay next year.

“It was probably nesting here, thank goodness that there are fishermen like these teenagers, who are still taking care of our marine life,” Kabigting said.

SBMA environment management specialist Rhea Jane Mallari, who was about to monitor the giant clams in Subic Bay, led the release of the turtle a few meters from the shore of All Hands Beach Resort.

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino lauded the efforts of the three teenaged fishermen, stating that people should take from them their effort in assuring the life of a marine animal.

“Nakakatuwa at meron pa palang mga mangingisda sa atin na magpoprotekta ng kalikasan. Dapat talagang tularan ng ibang mangingisda ang mga kabataang ito,” Paulino said.

The olive ridley turtle that the boys rescued was 69 cms wide, 64 cms tall and was around 40 to 60 years old. With many beaches surrounding the area, Subic Bay has been a favorite nesting ground for these endangered animals. (Jonas Reyes, Manila Bulletin)


[1] Fisherman Dennis Galvez (left) and an SBMA Harbor Patrol officer carry the olive ridley sea turtle that was found in Olongapo City on Friday. Galvez and two other boys, Roel Avia and Kevin Del Pilar, rescued the turtle in Barangay Kalaklan and turned it over to the SBMA Ecology Dept. (Jonas Reyes)

[2] SBMA Ecology Center manager Ruel John Kabigting (left) and SBMA environment management specialist Rhea Jane Mallari give a good luck pat to an Olive Ridley sea turtle before members of the SBMA Harbor Patrol release it back to the open sea on Friday morning. The sea turtle, locally known as pawikan, an endangered species, nearly got entangled in the nets of fishermen from Olongapo City, who later turned it over to the SBMA. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)