The rare green sea turtle is released back into the ocean in central Nghe An province after it was trapped in a local fisherman's net. (Photo: dantri.com.vn)

Nghe An (VNA)
- A fisherman in central Nghe An province has released a rare turtle back into the ocean despite being offered a large sum of money to sell the animal.

Tran Van Trung, in Cua Lo town’s Nghi Hai ward, found a turtle trapped in his net. The green sea turtle weighed about seven kilogrammes with a length of 50 centimetres and a width of 35 centimetres. 

Trung said many dealers came to buy the turtle, with some offering up to 250 million VND (10,750 USD). The identity of the dealers and their motives remain unknown.

He was helped by local authorities to release the animal back into the ocean in the next day.

In Vietnam, green sea turtles, together with three other species, are critically threatened due to illegal hunting for food and handicrafts like jewellery, which is made of their shells.

Statistics from the Education for Nature – Vietnam showed that on average, about 150,000 young green turtles return to the ocean each year but the number of mature turtles of the species is estimated at just 150 annually.

A study conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature said only 10 green sea turtles give birth on beaches in northern Quang Ninh and central Quang Binh provinces annually.-VNA