It’s mind boggling how this is still happening till now!
For YEARS, we’ve been taught and reminded that consuming turtle eggs is illegal. Possessing the eggs themselves are also an offense under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. With heavy punishments of RM50,000 fines or a jail term of up to 5 years, it’s disappointing to see that these rules mean nothing because the heinous act is still being done till today – worse, in broad daylight too.
Hello! These sea turtles are very much endangered and are going extinct!
Source: Daily Sabah
A reporter from CNA was in one of the busiest Sandakan, Sabah streets. As he walked pass a group of men that was chilling by a street corner, one of the men asked, “You want turtle eggs, brother? I give you a good price,” in Bahasa Malaysia.
“How much?” the reporter responded.
The man then ran into a store to grab a black plastic bag that was filled with turtle eggs. Shockingly, in it were 10 turtle eggs and he was selling it at RM2 per egg! That’s RM20 for the whole bag!
To his dismay, there were 3 uniformed police that were standing just 50 metres away, seemingly oblivious to the illicit trade that’s happening right infront of them.
Even with posters educating the public not to consume turtle eggs plastered blatantly across the wet market’s entrance, the community is not faltered. Sellers and buyers of these turtle eggs still continue about their business.
The reporter added how families and individuals would walk up to the same men to buy these eggs in broad daylight.
Source: The Star
It’s reported that the locals aren’t the only people responsible for the ongoing illegal trade, but it’s also fuelled by travellers – and this was identified as the main factor that’s keeping the trade booming.
Visitors, especially from China, Vietnam, and Indonesia believe consuming turtle eggs is good for the body as well as it improving sexual potency. So with high demand, there’ll be more supply as well.
Authorities are doing what they can to prevent this trade from continuing. The state offers programmes that educate visitors on preserving the turtle population and there are rangers that take turns patrolling the beach till dawn to make sure eggs are not dug up by predators or poachers.
This is a real crisis we’re facing. Once a species is extinct, there is no way of bringing it back. So let us all do our own part to ensure these endangered turtles are conserved. Some of the things we can do are:
- Do NOT buy turtle eggs
- Spread awareness and educate your friends and peers
- Report to the authorities immediately if you spot this illegal trade
- Participate in volunteer programmes for turtle conservation
Most importantly, never turn a blind eye!
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