Tour guide accused of selling turtles says not true

Tour guide accused of selling turtles says not true

  22 Jul 2016

Says Wechat account was hacked

By: L.N. Reklai

Jiahong “Ray” Liu strongly denied the report that came out on the July 19th issue of IT that he was selling baby turtles online to Chinese customers.  “This is not true.  I’ve been in Palau for a long time, and I went to school here.  Someone hacked my Wechat account and use my profile to make this up,” insisted Ray Jiahong Liu in an interview with Island Times. [restrict]

“The pictures of turtles are clearly pictures of adult turtles that have been preserved and mounted on the wall.  If these were small baby hawksbill turtles, you can’t see the yellow designs on their shells,” added Ray.  “Somebody has put together these pictures to make one picture and use my profile to make this.  I did not do this.”

Regarding his pictures with sharks, Mr. Liu said that the picture was taken during one of the night fishing expeditions. He said, the shark caught the bait and they had to bring it up to remove the hook.  When they removed the hook, customers wanted the pictures and the shark was released into the water.  “We don’t take pictures anymore.  We just remove the hook and release the shark,” stated Mr. Liu.

On a related story, a picture of a napoleon wrasse taken at the Blue Corner dive site, was sent to this paper on July 19th.  The photographer stated that the fish did not come close to people but can still be seen.

Like the earlier photo posted on social media saying that the fish has been taken, it is difficult to verify if the fish is the exact one from Blue Corner. No study has been done on individual napoleon wrasses in these dive sites that identified their unique characteristics and therefore, it’s impossible to confirm just from the photographs.

According reports from Pacific Note,  Minister Umiich Sengebau of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, has expressed that he will investigate the reports of illegal catching of these fishes. [/restrict]

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