Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles

Located in the southwestern tip of the Philippines is one of the farthest municipalities in the Province of Tawi-Tawi, and a paradise for marine turtles, the Municipality of Turtle Islands.

MyMindanao.Com was lucky and privileged to have been given the chance to travel and visit the place last week together with a group of bloggers and media invited by the Department of Tourism- ARMM in coordination with BFAR and DENR-PAMB.
Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles

Composed of six (6) small islands, namely; Taganak, Baguan, Langaan, Boan, Lihiman, and Great Bakungan, Turtle Islands is considered as a major nesting area for Green Sea Turtles. It was declared a Protected Area in 1999 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 171 series of 1999, following the requirements prescribed under RA No. 7586, otherwise known as the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 and RA 9147, also known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, totally prohibiting turtle egg collection.
Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles

During the visit, the 4th PAMB Meeting was conducted attended by different stakeholders with DENR IX Assistant Regional Director Ronald Gadot and DOT-ARMM Regional Secretary Ayesha Vanessa Hajar M. Dilangalen who also conducted assessment and profiling activities in the area, were among the attendees.

Things discussed during the meeting include the ongoing mangrove rehabilitation in Taganak, the creation of environmental task force, wildlife enforcement seminar and the establishment of coral nurseries. The conduct of Pawikan Day or Adlaw Sinpayukan every May 23rd was also formalized with DENR and DOT-ARMM signified support for the event which will also showcase the rich culture and traditions of the people of Turtle Islands.

"We are not only protecting the turtles here.. we will also help preserve the culture and traditions of the people of Turtle Islands", said ARD Gadot.

DOT-ARMM also plans to conduct seminars on tour guiding and eco-tourism awareness programs for Turtle Islands.
Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles

Being a natural nesting place of marine turtles, its unique marine resources, white sandy beaches and its proximity with Malaysia, Turtle Islands has great potential for eco-tourism. And we highly appreciate the efforts by our government through the agencies involve in protecting and conservation of the place.
Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles
Carefully documenting a Green Sea Turtle laying eggs in Turtle Islands

Of course we never left Turtle Islands without seeing firsthand the marine turtles. It was a captivating experience watching huge turtles crawling from the sea to the beaches, dig the sands with their claws or flippers and lay eggs.
Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles

Marine turtle watching, island hopping, swimming in white sandy beaches, scuba diving and snorkeling, visit to local community and cultural appreciation are among the activities a tourist can enjoy in Turtle Islands.

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My Mindanao by Nanardx: Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles
Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi: A Paradise for Marine Turtles
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