A number of agencies and organisations working in the interest of protecting and safeguarding Guyana’s national patrimony recently combined efforts to rescue one of Guyana’s four marine turtle species.
On Tuesday, it was reported that a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was caught by a few enthusiastic fisher folk in the vicinity of the Kitty Seawall.
The marine creature which was trapped in a fishing net was subsequently rescued by Mr. Sean Gonsalves, an animal rights protector who immediately contacted the relevant agencies.
The government agencies with responsibility for monitoring sea turtles, The Guyana Wildlife Conservation Management Commission (GWCMC) and the Protected Areas Commission (PAC), teamed up with the WWF- Guianas, Guyana Marine Conservation Society (GMCS), University of Guyana and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard Unit to ensure the animal was rescued and released safely.
The turtle was examined for injuries and a measurement of the carapace (shell) length was taken. It measured 62.23 cm. The turtle was then tagged for identification purposes and released approximately 2km off the Kitty Seawall away from fishing nets.
The agencies expressed gratitude and a sense of pride that they were contacted and that the turtle was neither harmed nor killed.
This is encouraging and certainly indicates that Guyana and Guyanese are becoming aware of the importance of guarding not only our protected areas but also the country’s wildlife resources.
“This incident we hope will be a motivation to other citizens to help us look out for our wildlife as we all aim to ensure that our national patrimony is preserved for generations to come.”
The WCMC and the PAC are also extremely thankful for the longstanding support of WWF-Guianas and GMCS in providing financial and technical support to monitor marine turtles in Guyana better.
The incidence of turtles being trapped in fishing nets will increase during this time of year, since the turtle-nesting season commenced in early February until August.
Therefore, fishermen and the general public are urged to be on the lookout during this period and to report any sighting of marine turtles.
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