TURTLES!! Some sea turtles found
in Hong Kong are
tracked down by a
Written by: Jacqueline Lam
The sandy beach at Sham Wan, adults and children – slept on the their eggs.
Lamma Island is the only known beach and would be quiet when the Chan said that although Hong
regular nesting site of the Green sea turtles were here.” said 65- Kong has stopped the poaching of
Turtles in Hong Kong. The site is year-old Chan Kit-wan. “We sea turtle eggs, he is worried about
also one of the few remaining picked up all the eggs, one by one, the fate of the turtles’ worldwide.
nesting sites in Southern China. It from behind as the turtles worked Turtle butchers are still found in
is a very important place for sea hard to squeeze them out right in some places of the world. In
turtles because they need to front of us.” Indonesia, people barbecue turtle
reproduce sea turtles and hatch “They smelled like rotten fish, meat during religious feasts.
eggs. They are an extremely but they became a delicacy after “If we don’t stop people
endangered species. we steamed them with oil, salt and hunting them and their eggs, if we
Before every nesting season, soya sauce,” recalled Chan’s don’t protect them immediately,
people from the Wetland Park husband, 73-year-old Chau Kit- it’s highly likely that they will
clean the beach and pick up all the ling, whose ancestors settled on the become extinct,” Chan said.
rubbish. This is to prevent sea island several hundred years ago. The male turtles spend their life
turtles getting stuck in the rubbish They also said that the eggs in the sea. The females, who swim
or weeds. If they did, and no one bounce like ping-pong balls! long distances from their feeding
discovered the turtle, it may die. Now, Hong Kong people are grounds to lay eggs in their
The number of female Green even tracking sea turtles by birthplace, return to the nest only
Turtles nesting on the beach satellite. However some worry that every two to six years. That makes
changes from year to year. the campaign to save the turtles counting the turtles difficult.
Many people are still killing sea could be too little, too late, Susanna Ho, said officials
turtles for their shell to make “There aren’t many sea turtles finished a study on life in the
medicine and food. Most Hong left,” said former mechanic Ming waters around Lamma Island about
Kong people are struggling to help Chow, who ate his last turtle egg a year ago.
the sea turtles. Old villagers on 42 years ago, when he was just 13. If people stop poaching around
Lamma Island told of their “We should really protect them.” the world, sea turtles will soon
memories of distant summer nights Even now, the beach on Lamma have peace again.
when they crawled silently onto is closed during the nesting season
the beach to see giant Green of the turtles, because if people go
Turtles hatching eggs. onto the beach, they will distract
ghly that they will becomeus – men andsaid. “That’ll be very sad.” turtles that are laying
“All of extinct,” Chan women, the female sea
en and women, the female sea
ghly that they will become us inct,” Chan said. “That’ll be very sad.” turtles that are laying