Mr.Kongkiet Kittiwattanawong – Head of the Endangered Species Unit at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) recently held a meeting to discuss the situation regarding the increasing number of rare sea turtles being stranded on the beaches of Phuket and Phang Nga.
At around 14:00 on September 12th 2012, officers from PMBC were informed tourists and life-guards were caring for large sea turtle which had been washed up on Patong Beach. Officers rushed to Patong to take the turtle back to the Center
Preliminary investigations found the sea turtle was an adult female grass-turtle with a body size of 50 cm. It is believed it was swimming close to the coast looking to mate. After checking the condition of the turtle it was found the front right leg was broken and was probably caused by disbanded fishing nets. It is believed that the injuries are approximately one month old.
It was also found that the carapace of the turtle has moss, making it harder for it to move, it was also very underweight for its size and had therefore not eaten for a long time. The center has begun given the turtle a course of antibiotics & a tonic to rejuvenate the body.
Mr.Kongkiet said “Many of the turtles found stranded are female grass-turtles which have suffered trauma caused by fishing. There have now been 24 turtles was found, but we believe there are more which have not been washed up to the beach.”