KEMAMAN (NST): The tour guide weaves through the stalls in Pasar Payang Kuala Terengganu. Behind him a group of tourists try to keep up, craning their necks as they hope to spot it before the guide does.
Suddenly, the guide screams, “Over here!” and the group rushes over to a table manned by an elderly woman. In front of her is a basin with turtle eggs packed in plastic bags.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia says tour guides are encouraging visitors to give turtle eggs a try. And the organisation hopes to put an end to this conservation nightmare, along with the consumption of turtle eggs by Malaysians.
Today, WWF Malaysia will launch “Egg Equals Life”, a nationwide campaign to collect pledges to stop eating turtle eggs. Through September, the pledges will be distributed through colleges, universities, WWF events and online. The target is 40,000 signatures.
“We hope this campaign will get the legislation protecting turtles amended so that it is uniform. At present, there are different laws in different states,” WWF Malaysia Te-rengganu turtle programme team leader Rahayu Zulkifli told reporters after a gotong-royong at the Ma’ Daerah Turtle sanctuary to prepare for the nesting season.
It was also the soft launch of the campaign, and more than 200 pledges were collected.
More than 800 people turned up to clean up the beach, which was jointly organised by the state Fisheries Department, WWF Malaysia and BP Petronas Acetyls.