|An endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas) was released to the sea in Đà Nẵng. — Photo courtesy Đà Nẵng Agriculture and Rural development department|
ĐÀ NẴNG — An endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been released to the sea after being captured and kept at a house in the central city, a source from the city’s sub-department of Aquatic Resource Protection said yesterday.
The source said the turtle, which had been kept in an aquarium belonging to a family in Sơn Trà peninsula, was healthy when it swam back to the ocean.
The sub-department said the green turtle was listed as an endangered species by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Red Book of Việt Nam also named the turtle as a threatened species in need of special protection.
In July, the sub-department released another sea turtle after it was caught in a fishing net.
According to Lê Xuân Ái, an expert in sea turtle conservation from the Chàm Island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board, several beaches in central coastal Việt Nam, including Thừa Thiên-Huế, Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi are popular destinations for turtle reproduction. But rapid urban development, the speedy construction of beach resorts and hotels, the overexploitation of seafood and extensive pollution had destroyed their habitats.
Chàm Island, off the coast of Quảng Nam Province, was the first location in central Việt Nam to begin a sea turtle conservation project by hatching eggs to repopulate local turtle populations.
Việt Nam has five species of sea turtles living in waters off the islands of Trường Sa (Spratly), Hoàng Sa (Paracels), Bạch Long Vỹ, Thổ Chu and Cô Tô and provinces of Quảng Ninh and Quảng Trị, and from Quảng Nam to Phú Yên. — VNS