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    • Article

      The sea turtles captured by coastal fisheries in the northeastern Sulu Sea, Philippines: Documentation, care, and release 

      TU Bagarinao - Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 2011 - Herpetological Conservation and Biology
      This paper presents the first substantive data on sea turtles in the northeastern Sulu Sea. Working with fishers and government, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC FishWorld) documented 109 juvenile and adult sea turtles captured or stranded around Panay and Guimaras Islands, Philippines from 2001 to mid- 2011. These included 65 Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), 15 Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), 24 Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), three Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), and two Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta). From the four fishing villages within 1 km of FishWorld came 29 Green Turtles, eight Olive Ridleys, and one specimen each of the three other species. Approximately 77% of the Green Turtles were caught in nearshore fish corrals, mostly between October and May; whereas, 75% of the Olive Ridley Turtles were caught in offshore gill nets and long lines between April and October. Seventy-nine captured turtles were released, 73 of them with inconel flipper tags. Several turtles died from entanglement, serious injuries, slaughter for market, or diseases. An Olive Ridley Turtle and three Green Turtles were seen nesting at three beaches in southern and western Panay. Nesting of Hawksbill Turtles has been recorded at secluded beaches in Lawi, Guimaras about every three years; several batches of hatchlings have been raised by local residents before being released. Size-specific growth rates of Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles were highest among post-hatchlings and decreased sharply with size among juveniles and adults.