ORMOC CITY- For the 26th time, a fisherman from a sea fishing village in Merida town, Leyte, caught a sea turtle. And for the same number of time, Marcelo Tomada chose to return the creature he caught back to its natural habitat. Last August 27, the 52-year old Tomada caught the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) at the town bay at around 4 p.m. The fisherman lives in Barangay Libas, 10 kms away from the town proper.

The green sea turtle that measured 50-inch long and 33-inch wide was estimated at 80 kilograms. Tomada fed the animal before he returned it back to the sea with the help of some personnel of the town’s agriculture office. It was learned from the fisherman that it was the 26th time that he accidentally caught a turtle. Last year, he caught another sea turtle. And all the animals were returned by him back to the sea, a gesture he attributed to a bounty catch of fish. Iluminada Gomez, Merida’s agriculture officer, lauded the act of Tomada saying that there were fishermen who caught turtles and just took them as pets. (ELVIE ROMAN ROA)