Vietnamese fisherman refuses cash offer, releases rare turtle back to sea

By Duc Hung   March 28, 2018 | 11:28 pm PT
Vietnamese fisherman refuses cash offer, releases rare turtle back to sea
The rare, amber sea turtle caught by Truong. Photo by VnExpress.
A dealer had offered him $446 for the green sea turtle but he turned it down.

A Vietnamese fisherman released a rare turtle back into the ocean on Wednesday after snaring it off the central coast of Ha Tinh Province despite being offered a large sum of money for the creature.

The incident was reported on Thursday by the management committee of Ha Tinh’s fishing ports.

Nguyen Van Truong said a dealer had offered him VND10 million ($446) for the green sea turtle (chelonia mydas), but he had refused. Vietnamese' average annual income is $2,385.

“Turtles are endangered animals so I want to release it back into the sea and play a part in the conservation of the species,” he said.

Truong received help from local authorities to free the marine creature back into its natural habitat.

This isn’t the first time a rare sea animal has been saved by compassion in Vietnam. In August 2017, fishermen in the central province of Quang Tri released a member of the same turtle species that had become trapped in their net.

The species is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Just recently, four chelonian species in Vietnam were listed among the world’s 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. The list was published by the IUCN’s Turtle Conservation Coalition in its quadrennial report.

Vietnam is home to green, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles, all of which are listed in the country’s Red Book for rare and protected wildlife. The country outlaws the hunting or trade of any of the five species.

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