Thursday, April 17, 2008


Smuggled turtle eggs sold in Terengganu, says turtle expert


Turtle eggs, believed to be from Sabah and the Philippines, are being sold at three main markets in Terengganu. At the Pasar Payang, Simpang 3 and Batu 6 markets, the eggs belonging to the Green Turtle species, are sold for between RM23 and RM25 for a packet of 10. These are the findings of turtle expert Dr Juanita Joseph who said that as there was no restriction in the sale of turtle eggs in Terengganu, it has inadvertently encouraged smugglers to sell the eggs at the markets. A lecturer at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Faculty of Maritime and Marine Science Studies, she told Bernama here yesterday. “The smuggling of turtle eggs into Terengganu began after several turtle landing areas in the State were turned into turtle sanctuaries in 2005, to protect the Leatherback turtles. “If the sale of turtle eggs is not banned, it will lead to the extinction of turtles in Malaysia, and lead to more smuggling of turtle eggs.” She said there was no law to ban the sale of turtle eggs in Terengganu, except for the Leatherback turtle eggs. Dr Juanita claimed the eggs were sent to the peninsula, either by courier or post. A Bernama survey at several areas here found turtle eggs being sold near the Sandakan market at RM1.20 to RM1.70 each. They are sold discreetly by traders, believed to be foreigners who claimed the eggs were from the Philippines. - Bernama