Conservationists Wednesday urged Malaysia to impose a national ban on the trade and consumption of turtle eggs to ensure the survival of the marine creatures.
Turtles once arrived in their thousands to lay eggs on Malaysian beaches but are now increasingly rare due to poaching and coastal development.
"WWF-Malaysia continues its call for a comprehensive ban on the consumption and trade of turtle eggs of all marine turtle species to ensure the survival of these majestic creatures," Environmental group WWF-Malaysia said in statement.
With no national ban on eating turtle eggs, they are sold openly in eastern Terengganu state where only the sale of leatherback turtle eggs is not permitted, the group said.
Turtle eggs are are also available elsewhere in the country.
WWF said contrary to popular belief most people consider the eggs a "delicacy" and eat them for pleasure, not as a source of protein or for their reputed medicinal or aphrodisiac effects.
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