Philippines charges 'turtle poachers'

MANILA – Nearly 300 apparently poached sea turtles were seized from a Vietnamese fishing boat off the western Philippines, the Philippine government said on Tuesday.

The boat and its 13 fishermen were apprehended this weekend off Balabac town in Palawan province, 850 kilometres south-west of Manila.

Charges of illegal fishing were filed on Monday against them, according to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.

The council said 293 dead sea turtles were found in the boat’s refrigerated hold.

Additional charges would be filed against the fishermen for killing the turtles, in violation of the Philippines' Wildlife Act, it said.

The meat of sea turtles is considered a delicacy and traditional medicine in some Southeast Asian countries, the council said.

Related search: Philippines, sea turtles, Vietnam, fishing, fishermen

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