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Terengganu state government is mulling to ban the sale of all turtle species’ eggs. -NSTP/Rasul Azli Samad

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu government will look into the possibility of banning the sale of eggs of all turtle species, said Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim.

He said the sale of turtle eggs had given Terengganu a bad image.

“As stipulated in the Terengganu Turtles Enactment 1951 (Amendment 1987), only the sale of leatherback turtle eggs is prohibited, while the sale of eggs of other turtle species is allowed. This is why we see them being sold in Payang Market.

“We have received complaints from people who questioned whether the state government has overlooked the enforcement (of the enactment),” he said at the Terengganu State Legislative Assembly Building yesterday.

For the record, four of the seven species of turtles in the world have been landing in Terengganu, namely, leatherback, olive ridley, hawksbill and green sea turtles. However, the last landing of a turtle in the state was in 2017.

Azman said apart from studying the proposed ban, the state government would also look into the need to amend the enactment, especially in relation to fines and penalties for those who committed turtle-related offences.

“The amendment was done a long time ago and some sections involving fines are not relevant as they are too low.”

He said this prevented the enactment from curbing the crime.

“That is why I have directed the Fisheries Department to organise workshops with various parties in the industry, including legal practitioners and academics on the matter.

“The result of the workshop is in the form of a proposal for amendments, to be submitted to the state Legal Advisory Office for further review.” Bernama

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