Everything here on the earth has been created by God! Right from the birds in the air and the creatures in the sea. Every living creatures on land and air are the handiwork of the Creator and all these things have been placed in the hands of man to be caretakers. But are we carrying out our roles as caretakers of this world?
Why the need to save the Sea Turtles! First and foremost much can be learned about the condition of the planet’s environment by looking at the sea turtles. They have existed for over a 100 million of years, and these creatures have traveled throughout the world’s oceans. Today, we find that the sea turtles are struggling to survive, largely because of things that mankind are doing to the planet’s oceans and beaches.
Is there a possibility that a world in which sea turtles cannot survive may soon become a world in which humans too struggle to survive? If, we learn from our mistakes and begin changing our behavior, there is still time to save sea turtles from extinction. In the process, we will be saving one of the earth’s most mysterious and time-honored creatures. We might just be saving ourselves too!
In the world there are seven (7) types of species of Sea Turtles. They are the Green Sea Turtle, The Leather Back Sea Turtle, The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, The Hawksbill Sea Turtle, The Loggerhead Sea Turtle, The Kempe’s Olive Sea Turtle and the Flatback Sea Turtle. And out of the seven types of sea turtles, there are four species that still comes to our country to lay their eggs. There are six sea turtle landing sites in West Malaysia that is in Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Perak and Penang and two in East Malaysia that is in Sabah and Sarawak.
Pasir Panjang Beach is a 6 km long beach located 2 km from Segari town and 5 km from the Jalan Lumut – Pantai Remis Junction. Pasir Panjang Beach is the longest beach in the Manjung District. The fine sandy beaches, lush trees and peaceful area make Pasir Panjang Beach an ideal location for turtle nesting. An estimated 90% of turtles which make their way across strong waves here are the Hawk’s Bill and Green Turtle species. These turtles come onshore between March and July each year.
Sad to say that many people are not aware of the Turtle Conservation Center in Pasir Panjang Segari. It is indeed a tourist spot, where tourist do come and visit this place but to the locals, many are not aware of this place.The call to Save the Sea Turtles at Pasir Panjang Segari began when Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) was extremely distressed to learn that a turtle landing site along the coast from Pasir Panjang, Segari to the Tanjung Hantu Forest Reserve in the state of Perak is critically threatened from two up-coming industrial projects, that is the MAEGMA STEEL and the ATIGAS LNG!
Both of these mega projects are located on an ESA (Environmentally Sensitive Areas)Rank 1 whereby, no development,agriculture or logging shall be permitted except for ecotourism, research and tourism! These two projects will be carried out along the Pasir Panjang coast of Tanjung Hantu, an area with white sandy beaches, coastal forests and a haven for sea turtles to lay eggs.
It is therefore obvious that the projects are bound to have negative impact on the surrounding environment, especially the marine ecosystem and mangrove swamps that would threaten the survival of sea turtles and local fishery industry.Because the project area is situated on an Environmentally Sensitive Area Rank 1(EPA), which is supposed to be a nesting site for the turtles, thus it contradicts with the National Physical Plan (NPP)!
Why the urgent call to save the Green Sea Turtles is because sea turtles are part of two ecosystems, the beach, dune system and the marine system. If sea turtles went extinct, both the marine and beach, dune ecosystems would be negatively affected. And since humans utilize the marine ecosystem as a natural resource for food and since humans utilize the beach and dune system for a wide variety of activities, a negative impact to these ecosystems would negatively affect humans on the long run.
There would also be a major ecological effect of sea turtle extinction especially when it involves the Green Sea Turtle the species that is found coming to Pasir Panjang in Segari. Green Sea Turtles are one of the few to eat sea grass. Like any other lawn grass, sea grass needs to be constantly cut short to be healthy and help it grow across the sea floor rather than just getting longer grass blades. Sea turtles and manatees act as grazing animals that cut the grass short and help maintain the health of the sea grass beds. Over the past decades, there has been a decline in sea grass beds and this decline may be linked to the decrease number of sea turtles.
Why are sea grass beds important and its connection to the Green Sea Turtle? Sea grass beds provide breeding and developmental grounds for many species of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Without sea grass beds, many marine species that humans harvest would be lost, as would the lower levels of the food chain. The reactions could result in many more marine species being lost and eventually causing an impact on humans. So if the sea turtles goes extinct, there would be a serious decline in sea grass beds and a decline in all the other species dependent upon the grass beds for survival. All parts of an ecosystem are important and if you lose one, the rest will eventually follow!
Many of us take the word extinction very lightly! Have we ever given a deep thought on the word “extinction?” A plant or animal becomes extinct when the last living individual of its species dies, causing it to vanish from the earth forever and it can never ever be replaced. If there is ever a time when the last green turtle on earth dies, then never again will this magnificent creature grace our world.Today, however, species are going extinct because of abrupt changes brought about by humans.
Habitat destruction, pollution and over-consumption are causing species to decline at a rate never seen before in history. This loss of species is eroding the diversity of life on earth, and a loss of diversity can make all life vulnerable! Help Save Our Green Sea Turtles by making sure that no developmenst are taking place near the nesting site of the Green Sea Turtles in Pasir Panjang, Segari!
TURTLES ARE OUR HERITAGE!