Published On: Thu, Oct 1st, 2015

Entangled green turtle safely released in Balochistan

Photo courtesy: WWF-Pakistan

Photo courtesy: WWF-Pakistan


Staff Report

KARACHI

A Local fisherman of Balochistan coast, Yasir Amin was operating in Sonmiani Bay found green turtle entangled in his katra net and after a struggle of about two hours, he freed the turtle from the net and released back to the sea, claimed a press release issued by WWF-Pakistan on Thursday.

Usually, turtles do not become entangled in seine net operations, locally known as katra, however, they may get trapped in such nets in rare cases. WWF-Pakistan in association with a local community based organization (CBO), Coalition for Appropriation of Resources and Development (CARD) has conducted an awareness raising programme among fishermen for the safe release of entangled megafauna in fishing nets

Muhammad Moazzam Khan, Technical Advisor (Marine Fisheries), WWF-Pakistan informed that green turtles are considered endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List and their catching and trade is banned in Pakistan under wildlife and fisheries laws. They are also included in Appendix-I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which means their trade is completely banned in Pakistan. Despites these measure thousands of turtles become entangled in fishing nets all over the world and a majority of them die.

A large number of turtles, mostly breeding females become entangled in small scale fishing operations in shallow coastal waters, therefore, fishermen engaged in trawling, seining (katra) and gillnet operations are being trained in collaboration with local CBOs.
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Rab Nawaz, Senior Director – Biodiversity, WWF-Pakistan pointed out that Pakistan’s coastal waters area is considered an important nesting ground for green turtles. Sandspit and Cape Monz are important nesting sites in Sindh, whereas Ormara, Taq, Astola Island and Daran (Jiwani) are important nesting areas in Balochistan. WWF-Pakistan has initiated a number of programmes for monitoring of turtles, as well as the impact of climate change on their breeding and to reduce mortality in fishing operations.

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