Conservation and Enhancement of Sea Turtles in the Southeast Asian Region
Ku Kassim, Ku Yaacob
Mahyam, Mohamad Isa
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Southeast Asian countries have accorded great concern to the conservation and enhancement of sea turtles , both from the environmental and marine biodiversity point of view. These countries produce six of the seven living sea turtle species found worldwide and renowned as some of the most productive in the world. All countries recognize the significance of the sea turtle population and their habitats existing in the waters of this region. The sea turtles are highly migratory species, where the seas of Southeast Asian countries form a contiguous body of water without any interval where the sea turtle migrate freely across national boundaries. Thus, all Southeast Asian countries realize that multi-lateral efforts are necessary to ensure long-term survival of the sea turtle in this region . It was this understanding that had led to the signing of Memorandum of the Understanding (MoU) on ASEAN Sea Turtle Conservation and Protection by ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) at their Nineteenth Meeting on 12 September 1997 in Bangkok. The MoU laid down the objectives and the mechanism of cooperation for the conservation , management and enhancement of sea turtles in this region.