Turtle conservation efforts in Kampung Tempurung

 

By PAUL MU

KUALA PENYU: An awareness programme will be carry out in Kampung Tempurung here to educate the villagers to conserve the sea turtles.

The conservation efforts will enable the sea turtles to come ashore for nesting and these activities can be turn into a tourism product.

“We want to educate the villagers to protect and don’t disturb or catch the sea turtles as they are a protected endangered species,” said Tempurung Golden Beach Resort operator Jack Koh.

“The conservation of the sea turtles will benefit the villagers as the arrival of visitors will also create job opportunities for them,” said Koh when hosting a luncheon for Kuala Penyu District Officer Sebastian Ingkim in conjunction with the release of a batch of hawksbill hatchlings to the Tempurung beach on Monday.

Also invited were Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (SATTA) members led by its chairman Dato’ Seri Winston Liaw, Wildlife Department officer Abd Rahimin Ag Yahya, SK Pekan Kuala Penyu’s pupils and some taiji practitioners from Kota Kinabalu.

Koh suggested the villages can be train to become a warden to petrol the shore and protect the sea turtles. “We have an encouraging support from the village chief here to carry out the awareness programme to promote the conservation effort,” he added.

Liaw said SATTA members were glad to be invited to witness the release of the hatchlings as this could be yet another tourism product for them to market.

“Most of us actually never experience this moment before and this is a very meaningful visit for us to not only see the hatchlings but also explore this place,” he said.

Rahimin said the sea turtles are totally protected marine creatures under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 and it is an offence to disturb or catch them.

“Avoid disturbing the sea turtles. Since they are a totally protected species, we are not allowed to hold them. We can only watch and take picture,” he explained.

Sebastian hopes more people will come to Kampung Tempurung to boost the local tourism industry.

 
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New Sabah Times