From: Associated Press
Published May 4, 2005 12:00 AM

Myanmar Issues Regulations to Save Decimated Marine Turtle Population

VANGON, Myanmar — Eating the meat and eggs of turtles will no longer be allowed under a package of regulations issued by the Myanmar government to save the country's decimated population of marine turtles, a state-run newspaper said Wednesday.


Official reports have stated that the number of marine turtles in the country's coastal waters plummeted by about 80 percent between 2000 and last year.


"Marine turtles are the longest living animals and are now classified as endangered all over the world as they are near extinction," the Myanma Ahlin newspaper said.


The regulations, issued by the Ministry of Fisheries, also say that turtles accidentally caught in fishing nets must be released and that trawlers are to be equipped with devices that prevent netting of the creatures. Dumping of chemicals and industrial waste in waters inhabited by turtles is also forbidden.


Five of the eight species of marine turtle are found along Myanmar's 2,276-kilometer (1,414-mile) coastline.


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Turtle conservation work began in 1986 and was accelerated after Myanmar joined the Bangkok-based Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Center in 1998.


Source: Associated Press


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