Pro surfers Natsumi, Dominique join release of baby sea turtles in La Union

February 16, 2023 - 7:23 PM
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Composite photo of professional surfers Dominique Miller and Natsumi Taoka for Project CURMA (nique_miller, projectcurma/Instagram)

Two international surfers joined a sea turtle conservation group on its hatchling release activity.

Surfers Natsumi Taoka and Dominique Miller, who are also members of the World Surf League, witnessed the struggles of releasing baby sea turtles into the sea.

The activity was led by the Coastal Underwater Resource Management Actions (CURMA) or Project CURMA. Project CURMA is an environmental conservation program that protects sea turtles from poachers and other predators.

In an Instagram post on February 9, Miller shared a video that showed her excitement and fondness in watching the baby sea turtles wade their way on the sand to the waters of La Union.

“Such a magical experience doing the turtle releasing in La Union!” she said in the Instagram caption.

“Hopefully, all these little guys make it. Thanks for having me @projectcurma,” she added.

Project CURMA later replied to her.

“Thank you for helping with this hatchling release and for being a voice for these little ones!” the organization’s comment reads.

Project CURMA on February 8 posted a photo of Taoka that showed her holding a container of sea turtles before they were released to their natural habitat.

The Japanese surfer has also just won the World Surf League’s longboard contest that day.

@natsumi_taoka, the longboard champion from the recently concluded @wsl surf contest, helped release 104 baby sea turtle hatchlings in San Juan,” the post reads.

“#LaUnion is blessed to be a sea turtle nesting ground and has world-class waves!” it added.

Taoka and Filipino competitor Rogelio Jr. Esquievel won at the Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event at The Point at Urbiztondo Beach last January 22.

Miller was also a longboard champion of the league. Her last longboarding tour was in 2019.

The hatchling release, meanwhile, is regularly conducted along the coast of La Union under the guidance of members of Project CURMA.

Schedules of this activity are posted on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Since it was established in 2009, Project CURMA’s conservation efforts have inspired poachers in the province to turn over a new leave and become the turtles’ protectors instead.

Reuters reported that five species of sea turtles that are found in the Philippines are endangered.

These are the Green, the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead, the Leatherback, and the Olive Ridley.

READ: Love of sea turtles turns Philippine poachers into protectors