Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The Office of Marine and Fisheries of West Sumatra Province will increase sea turtle conservation areas in order to maintain its population.

"Currently, the authority of the conservation area is moving from city or district to province, while we are still making a territorial mapping," Head of West Sumatra Office of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Yosmeri remarked here on Saturday.

He stated that the conservation areas are located in Padang City, Pariaman City, Padang Pariaman District, and Coast District. Moreover, it will be also be built in West Pasaman District and Agam.

"We will try to improve the facilities in conservation areas, such as in Pariaman City," he added.

In addition, the fish ponds that contain marine creatures will also be built in Pariaman`s conservation area.

He further stated that the pond will later look like a marine aquarium and attract tourists, providing better economy to the local people.

The rate of West Sumatra people eating sea turtles, both eggs and meat, is quite high. The local government and related institute must educate the public on avoiding consuming sea turtles and on the punishment for those who violate the rule.

The people of Mentawai Islands eat sea turtle meat as part of their custom, but they get poisoned after eating it.

In fact, in Mentawai Islands, there is a rare sea turtle named the leatherback sea turtle.

"If possible, we will also build a special conservation area for leatherback sea turtles in Mentawai District," he explained.

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Reported by M R Denya Utama

Reporter: Darwito
Editor: Suharto
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