Pawikan, Caring for these wonderful creatures

Bataan fishermen used to eat pawikan or the big turtles that they caught on sea. The Philippine pawikans are: 1) the green turtle which is colored brown, 2) the olive ridley and 3) the hawksbill with mouth like hawks bill. My experience with these turtles and knowing the hard process for them to survive made me feel guilty of once tasting their eggs. Pawikan eggs were in demand as aphrodisiacs and were sold like ordinary commodity until we learned how to value these endangered species.

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the Olive Ridley

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Green Turtle

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Hawksbill turtle

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a three year-old pawikan. these were allowed in captivity to educate people and were later on released at the sea. Some rescued turtles are being cared for in this Pawikan Conservation Center in Bataan. The fishermen are now helping conserve pawikan and prevent dynamite fishing in this part of the Philippines, from poachers to bantay pawikan (conservationists).

The ultimate patriots, the Pawikans (Filipino for Marine Turtles) return after 25-30 years and go back to where they were hatched to lay eggs. This cycle remained unbroken for ages until recently when these beautiful sea animals have become highly threatened for extinction, due to poaching and hunting- their numbers are alarmingly dwindling. The time is now to take action. 

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