A tourist’s gushing review of a snorkelling company disturbing sea turtles so visitors can get good snaps has landed the firm in hot water with the Malaysian authorities.
The as-yet unidentified snorkelling operator is based in the Perhentian Islands within the Malaysian state of Terengganu.
The incident was highlighted on Twitter by netizen ‘Sharifah Sofia’ after spotting a gushing review that suggested the company was intentionally disturbing turtles for visitors to get good photos.
‘Sharifah Sofia’ said: “You should never be proud about something like this… Guys, I am trying to find out who [the] operator is. If you have any idea, please let me know.”
The unnamed tourist’s review said: “So satisfied with their service. I asked for a private boat and got it, I asked for a turtle and got it.”
“I wanted to take a picture with the turtle. Sure.”
“The boatman jumped straight down to get the turtle…”
According to the Malaysian Fisheries Department, people are not allowed to fish, disturb, catch or take a turtle (or its eggs) under the Fisheries Act 1985.
The University of Malaysia, Terengganu (UMT) advised citizens: “Do not provoke, disturb, harass, catch or restrain the sea turtle for a photo or selfie. Instead, let them roam free, take photos and videos at least one metre away, and enjoy the moment.”
Many netizens on the Twitter thread claimed that the practice of disturbing turtles for tourist snaps is common with most snorkelling operators in Malaysia.
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