Taiwan sets up first turtle sanctuary after second major haul
TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan is to set up its first turtle sanctuary, officials said on Sunday, after the second seizure within weeks of more than 2,000 of the protected creatures, bound for dinner plates in China.
Taiwan's coastguard discovered on Saturday 2,439 Asian yellow pond and yellow-lined box turtles in a fishing boat in Tungkang, a port in the southern region of Pingtung.
The skipper of the boat, bound for China, and three Indonesian crew were arrested. They could face jail terms of up to five years plus a fine of up to NT$1.5 million (S$64,000), according to Taiwan's wildlife protection law.
The coastguard seized 2,626 rare turtles on board another boat last month as they were being taken off the island, in what the authorities said was their biggest ever seizure of smuggled turtles.