Malaysia: Sabah sea turtle conservation effort doing good

The Star 19 May 13;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's turtle conservation effort, dating back nearly half a century, is bearing fruit.

Certain pristine areas along the state's east coast is now home to an increasing number of these marine creatures.

For example, at Pulau Mabul, off Semporna, a 2km stretch of coral reef is home to more than 140 turtles.

“That is a good sign,” said Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Borneo Marine Research Institute senior lecturer Dr Pushpa M. Palaniappan.

She added that another 535 turtles had been caught and tagged in waters off the diving haven of Sipadan in recent years.

She said the institute would be conducting a census at Mabul in conjunction with World Turtle Day, which is from May 22 to May 24.

Volunteers and resort guests will be invited to take part in the census project, she said, adding that primary school pupils would have the opportunity to see the conservation efforts up close.

Borneo Marine Research Institute director Prof Dr Saleem Mustafa said public awareness was necessary in complementing enforcement measures protecting the turtles.