TSU, Mie Pref. (Kyodo) Loggerhead turtle eggs have been found at a beach near a major industrial complex in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, for the first time since 2003, according to a local conservation group.

The 100 or so eggs, which are expected to hatch in about two months, were confirmed at Yoshizaki beach on Tuesday by the sea turtle conservation group in Yokkaichi after it received a report from a man who was fishing at night.

The ocean turtle, which spends most of its life in the sea with only females coming ashore on summer nights to lay eggs, used to come to the coast of Mie Prefecture every year, riding the warm Black Current from the south.

The area around the nest was put under protective netting Wednesday by the group’s members so that the eggs are not dug up by animals or humans.

“We want to keep the beach clean and watch the eggs,” group leader Kazutomo Mori, 42, said. “We hope to change the image of Yokkaichi from a town of pollution to a town where sea turtles come to.”

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