Tag Archives: culture

An End To the Culture of Eating Turtle Eggs

Eating turtle eggs in Terengganu is often attributed to culture. But fears it could jeopardise the trade ban on June 1 might be unfounded.

MANN THE turtle sanctuary ranger suddenly raises his finger and points at the ocean blue. “There are turtles mating,” he says. I follow his line of sight to two turtles in a tight embrace and bobbing on the surface of the water.

My heart leaps and I hope for the best. Maybe the female will survive to lay her eggs here at the sanctuary. Maybe those eggs will hatch, like many have before. After all, this is the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary on Redang Island, Terengganu’s most productive sea turtle nesting grounds.

(The ban on the sale of turtle eggs in Terengganu targets traders. | Photo: Bryan Yong)

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Reconsider ban on turtle egg sale, say Terengganu traders

To conserve turtles, the Terengganu state legislative assembly passed an amendment to ban sales of all turtle eggs by June 2022. But in the face of strong traditional demand for the eggs, will the ban work?

THE SLEEPY market of Pasar Payang in Terengganu springs to life on Saturday mornings. Customers weave through the tight maze of stalls, some looking for a delicacy rarely found elsewhere – turtle eggs.

One vendor, who only gives her name as Mak Kiah, picks up 10 eggs from a bag of 100 and drops them into a transparent plastic bag. The eggs are covered in sand and cold to the touch.

Sembilan puluh ringgit”, she says to a customer. Ninety ringgit.

(Photo: On a busy weekend, hundreds of turtle eggs are sold at the Pasar Payang market, Kuala Terengganu | Pic by Bryan Yong)

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