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Saving turtles at Pico de Loro

The active protection of olive ridley sea turtles at Pico de Loro Cove, one of only five turtle species found in the Philippines, is an initiative of the Bantay Dagat community-based volunteer program, which engages fisherfolk in coastal villages to safeguard Marine Protected Areas.

Vernon Velasco

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NATURAL habitat. (Inset) an olive ridley sea turtle is a usual and endearing sight along Hamilo Coast. Turtle release was recently initiated by Hamilo Coast’s Sustainability Team. / Photos courtesy of Hamilo Coast

An olive ridley turtle (lepidochelys olivacea) that accidentally got entangled in the snares of a fisherman’s net was turned over to Hamilo Coast’s Sustainability Team.

Named for the olive color of its heart-shaped carapace, olive ridley sea turtles contribute to the health of coral reefs, which is the first line of defense against storm surges.

The healthy 1.5-foot-long juvenile olive ridley turtle was safely released as it flippered its way through the warm sands of Pico Beach, toward the cerulean waters of the West Philippine Sea. Pico Beach is located in Nasugbu, Batangas.

The turtle release was spearheaded by Jan Catherine Sy, a staunch animal welfare advocate and eldest daughter of the Chairman of SM Prime Henry Sy Jr., accompanied by the chairman’s wife, Jasmin T. Sy. Consistent with Jan’s love for animals, the accomplished equestrienne is an integral voice in the various environmental conservation measures that Hamilo Coast implements.

The active protection of olive ridley sea turtles at Pico de Loro Cove, one of only five turtle species found in the Philippines, is an initiative of the Bantay Dagat community-based volunteer program, which engages fisherfolk in coastal villages to safeguard Marine Protected Areas. Since 2008, Hamilo Coast has been a proud partner of the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines and this turtle release is a simple yet significant testament to Hamilo Coast’s unwavering commitment to practice environmental sustainability and preservation in its operations.

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