Best of our wild blogs: 7 Jun 13

Corals galore on reclaimed shores of Tanah Merah
from wonderful creation

A Macro Look at Macro Life
from Pulau Hantu

The last day of the Southern Expedition
from Mega Marine Survey of Singapore

Random Gallery - Mottled Emigrant
from Butterflies of Singapore and Random Gallery - Dark Glassy Tiger

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Malaysia: Stop cross-border turtle poaching

The Star 7 Jun 13;

KOTA KINABALU: Cross-border turtle poaching, such as between Malaysia and the Philippines, can be curbed through international cooperation, wildlife advocates here said.

In a joint statement here yesterday, wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC and WWF Malaysia said such action had to be carried out within the borders of the respective countries and along the illegal trade chain from sandy beach nesting sites to bustling urban markets.

“There is a need for concerted efforts to bring turtle egg poachers and traffickers to book.

“We hear little about offenders being arrested or prosecuted,” they said.

Despite various laws already being in place, they said the odds were stacked against the survival of the turtles and perpetrators must be caught to stem the problem.

Their statement came on the heels of the seizure of 6,500 turtle eggs in two raids by Sabah marine police last week.

Marine officers found 3,000 eggs during a raid on a pump boat on May 31 and another 3,500 eggs in plastic bags in some bushes the next day, both in the Sandakan district.

No arrests were made.

In their statement, TRAFFIC South-East Asia regional director Dr Chris Shepherd and WWF Malaysia executive director Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said public information led to the seizures.

“While we celebrate a seizure because it deprives poachers of their ill-gotten gains, we also mourn because a seizure often means loss of wildlife.

“In this particular case, it is a loss of 6,500 marine turtle hatchlings,” they said.

They said between 2004 and last year, the authorities seized at least 20,255 marine turtle parts nationwide.

The country's conservation laws stipulate that collecting or possessing any marine turtle eggs without permission carries maximum penalty of RM50,000 or a jail term of up to five years, or both.

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