WWF Malaysia urges government to ban eating of turtle eggs

The Star 9 Apr 12;

KUALA TERENGGANU: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia has urged the government to amend the Fisheries Act 1985 to ban the eating of turtle eggs.

WWF Terengganu Turtle Conservation Programme head Rahayu Zulkifli said the sale of turtle eggs openly shows lack of public awareness although many are aware that turtles are threatened with extinction.

"WWF fears that slow government action in banning eating of turtle eggs will cause extinction as landing of four species of turtles, the leatherback, hawksbill, green and olive ridley, off Terengganu coast has dropped.

"So far, only the leatherback turtle eggs are banned but WWF wants the ban on eating of turtle eggs to cover all species," she told Bernama here Sunday.

Turtle eggs are still readily available at Pasar Payang, the state's main tourist attraction.

Rahayu said many tourists visit Terengganu to sample turtle eggs as they can be easily buy them as Sabah and Sarawak had banned the sale and eating of turtle eggs.

The Malaysian government last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the management and conservation of turtles in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia (IOSEA) which seeks to protect endangered species but no follow-up was done.

WWF also submitted a memorandum on the importance of banning the sale and eating of turtle eggs to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last year but no progress was made. - Bernama