Many come together to save turtles

KUALA TERENGGANU, Malaysia - The struggle to protect sea turtle is bearing fruit as more than 1,000 people converged at the Bazaar Warisan here to mark the first ever World Sea Turtles Day celebration here.

Jointly organised by WWF-Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), the event saw people from all walks of life participating in various activities with the theme Telur Penyu, Beli Jangan, Makan Pun Tidak (Don't buy or eat turtle eggs).

Even the state football team nicknamed "The Turtles" were actively promoting more aware­­-ness on the plight of the sea turtles.

WWF Terengganu Turtle Conservation Programme head Rahayu Zulkifli said the fight to save the turtles must begin with banning the sale of the eggs and creating more awareness for people not to buy or eat them.

"Only Sabah and Sarawak imposed outright ban on the sale of eggs while in Terengganu, only the sale of leatherback turtle eggs are banned.

"We have been urging the state government to impose the ban for a long time as sea turtles are an endangered species," she said after the launch of the event here yesterday.

"The response from the public for the event has been good. I am confident it marks a new phase in our struggle to save the turtles.

"The mainland beaches of Terengganu are currently home to one of the largest green turtle population in the peninsula, averaging between 2,000 and 2,500 nests per year," she said.

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