More merciless killings of turtles in Sabah

turtle

PETALING JAYA: Six more turtles were found dead in Semporna, Sabah today, The Daily Express reported.

The turtles, the local daily reported, were seen floating between Laut Silapag and Laut Sanggaban within the Priority Conservation Area, all tied up with nylon ropes and badly decomposed.

Turtle expert Dr Juanita Joseph from the University of Malaysia Terengganu said they were most likely Green Turtles, which were a ‘Totally Protected Species’.

Dr James Alin of University Malaysia Sabah said it was difficult to bring the culprits to justice.

“No one was arrested when dead turtles were found floating near Si Ambil Island on 9 August 2014. We also discovered a killing field of some 50 or more turtles in Pulau Tiga in early 2014, but no one was arrested or jailed,” Dr James was quoted as saying.

He added the suspects were usually constituted of seaweed farmers and artisan fishermen.

“WWF-Malaysia had said its Kudat team was working closely with Sabah Wildlife Department to investigate allegations that seaweed farmers were killing turtles and the Sabah Tourism Minister said they would wait for the conclusion of the investigation first,” Dr James added.

According to the law, anyone convicted of killing a ‘Totally Protected Species’ will be imprisoned if convicted.