The recently introduced reward system encourages members of the public to report sightings of sea turtles laying eggs and discovery of egg nests.
The initiative is being supported by the Turtle and Habitat Conservation Fund and applies to nests and eggs discovered on Thai Mueang Beach, Bor Dan Beach, Na Tai Beach and Mai Khao Beach – all known nesting areas for sea turtles.
Chief Prarop Phang Ngan, of the Phuket Marine National Park Operation Center 2, explained that the reward was handed over in person by Chongklai Voraphongston, Deputy Director General of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
“Mr Chongklai came to give the reward after the fishermen found a mother leatherback turtle nesting on the sand in the evening of Nov 17.
“They contacted officers to check and verify the sighting then received B10,000 per person as a reward. They did not wish to be named and donated the B20,000 reward to a local school," Chief Prarop said.
Additionally, a reward was given to Phang Nga resident Boonsak Sanon, 57. He received a B20,000 reward on Nov 27 after he found a sea turtle nest while fishing at Bor Dan Beach that morning.
Chief Prarop urged, “We all are so excited to see the eggs hatch and baby turtles go out to explore the sea. If anyone sees a turtle nesting on a beach, please call us at 076-679134 so we can quickly go to protect the eggs and take care of them.”
The move to give rewards follows a series of CCTV cameras being installed at Thai Mueang Beach to protect a leatherback sea turtle nest containing 85 eggs that was discovered on Nov 17.
The cameras were installed to prevent people stealing the eggs or disturbing the nest in any other way and is being broadcast online 24 hours a day. (See story here.)