Petition: Save Malaysia’s sea turtles!

Olive ridley hatchling. Source: wikipedia, Steve Jurvetson

A proposed land reclamation project and sand mining in Malaysia threaten a nesting ground of vulnerable Olive Ridley turtles and a marine biodiversity hotspot. The projects would also endanger the livelihoods of artisan fishermen in Penang and Perak. Please sign our petition to the Prime Minister of Malaysia!

Gertak Sanggul is a vital landing site in the Malaysian state of Penang for the Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), which migrates thousands of kilometers around the Indian Ocean between its feeding and nesting sites. It is the smallest and most rarely sighted marine turtle in Malaysian waters and listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.

The pristine beaches of Gertak Sanggul and Teluk Kumbar stretch about 15 km along the south of Penang island. The rich fishery in this shallow seabed extends from the coastline to an uninhabited islet, Pulau Kendi, 3.3 km out in the Straits of Malacca. Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins and Indo-Pacific finless porpoises can be sighted here. Live coral, small shipwrecks and artificial reefs combine to create a rich spawning ground at Pulau Kendi, which has the potential to be turned into a national park.

This marine biodiversity hotspot would be destroyed by the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project to create three artificial islands for the development of condominiums. The lack of public consultation and availability of detailed information is shocking in view of the project’s scale: 1,821 hectares (4,500 acres or 7 square miles). The project is expected to generate 3.2 million tons of carbon emissions annually.

If realized, the project will impact the livelihoods of 4,817 Penang artisan fishermen who have been fishing sustainably for generations. Another 6,080 fishermen in neighboring Perak state would be affected by massive sand mining for the project. Sand mining would also threaten Perak’s marine biodiversity and the endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas; Malay name, Penyu Agar) landings on Pasir Panjang beach along the fragile Segari coastal ecosystem.

Please sign our petition, which is supported by more than 45 Malaysian organizations ->

Leave a Reply