Ninh Thuan works to protect sea turtles

Having seen a significant reduction in the number of sea turtles and their breeding activities, the central coastal province of Ninh Thuan is making efforts to address the situation.

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The Nui Chua National Park is among the rare destinations in Vietnam where sea turtles lay their eggs. It used to host green, loggerhead, and hawksbill sea turtles, but only green turtles have arrived during nesting season in recent years.

The peak of the nesting season in the park falls between June and October. In recent years, though, the number of sea turtles spotted during this time has fallen.

“In the evening, we patrol and protect the mother turtles, and move nests or eggs that are near the sea to safety,” said Pham Anh Dung, deputy head of the Sea Preservation Department of the Nui Chua National Park. 

Each year, the Nui Chua biodiversity conservation centre releases hundreds of turtles into the sea.

Since the beginning of this year, 78 turtles have been spotted looking for a place to lay their eggs, resulting in 1,250 babies released into the sea. A rescue team also released a 10 kg blue turtle.

Since 2000, with the aid of domestic and international organisations, like the Institute of Oceanography in Nha Trang, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Global Environment Fund, Nui Chua National Park has run a project to survey visiting turtles and their nesting conditions. The results were then used to protect the species, particularly at the three protection zones of Bai Thit, Bai Ngang, and Bai Hom beaches.

“Normally, when the turtles are injured, we will feed them and take care of them, bathing them with disinfectant for a while. After they recover, we release them back into the sea,” said Ngo Minh Quoc – Marine Preservation Department of the Nui Chua National Park.

The park has built a facility to treat turtles saved from illegal captivity, with volunteers trained to monitor them during their nesting time and to protect the eggs. The volunteers join patrols of the park’s rescue team along the beach and carry out communications campaigns.

Also joining the effort, Ninh Thuan authorities have requested intensified inspections of the illegal captivity, transport, and distribution of sea turtles and their eggs in the local area, with strict punishment imposed on violators./.

VNA