27/05/2024 04:45 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 (Bernama) -- The Fisheries Department (DOF) recorded an 11.17 per cent increase in turtle landings in the country's waters in 2023.

Its director-general, Datuk Adnan Hussain said 30,375 turtle landings were reported in the waters of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak in 2023, compared to 27,324 the previous year and attributed the increase to the country's favourable coastal terrain and lesser threats in these waters, along with the implementation of turtle egg incubation programmes.

"Based on the latest records from 2017 to 2023, the overall trend of turtle landings in Malaysia have been on the rise, with an estimated average of about 30,000 landings per year.

"The species commonly found in our waters include the green turtle, hawksbill turtle and olive ridley turtle. We aim for this number to continue increasing this year," he told Bernama after the ‘Jendela Fikir’ programme by Bernama Radio here today, adding that the last recorded leatherback turtle landing was in 2017 in Rantau Abang, Terengganu.

"The likely cause is the declining population of leatherback turtles. Our previous programmes were not effective enough in managing the gender ratio of the population, which has affected their ability to reproduce in the ocean," he explained.

Therefore, Adnan urged the public to continue cooperating in preserving the environment to ensure the positive trend in turtle landings and to prevent these animals from nesting on other beaches.

"The public is advised not to litter with plastic. When these end up in the ocean, they pose a real threat to turtles, which mistake them for their food, jellyfish.

"I also urge everyone to stop consuming turtle eggs, as it is detrimental to the country's ecosystem and hampers our efforts to boost the turtle population," he added.


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