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Mon 31 Jul 2006

Sea Turtles to be released in the South China Sea for satellite-tracking

Category : marine

See the Channel NewsAsia article.

In commemoration of the Indian Ocean - South East Asia (IOSEA) "Year of the Turtle", Underwater World Singapore (UWS) has collaborated with the National Institute of Education (NIE)/Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to launch a Sea Turtle Conservation Gallery and released 12 sea turtles fitted with satellite-tracking devices.

Dr C H Diong, a professor with National Institute of Education/NTU, will be releasing the 12 turtles fitted with tags into international waters in the South China Sea in an effort to study aspects of their biology and migratory behaviour.


Diong (light-blue shirt) explaining the research basis to Minister Mah Bow Tan (in jacket) as Prof Leo Tan (with tie) looks on.

If the turtles look a mite restricted, not to worry. They are in a cargo ship right now, heading out to the South China Sea. By the late morning of Tuesday, 1st Aug 2006, they will be released and be free-swimming once again.

Where will they go hence? Diong and others will be monitoring the sea turtles and hopes to share approximations of their positions on the internet.

The turtles were of three species - the Loggerhead Caretta caretta, Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea and Green Chelonia mydas. Two loggerhead turtles were brought to Underwater World Singapore as hatchlings from Nagoya, Japan. After nine years of captivity, will they eventually head back to Japan? More details soon.

Meanwhile, Prof Leo Tan's welcome address included a whimsical comment on the persistent arrivals of mature female turtles to lay eggs in Singapore, after the 20-40 years it has taken them to mature. Singapore has a lot to offer even to migrating sea turtles, let alone our youth!

Posted at 5:43PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news