World Sea Turtle Day, June 16th, is a day used to honor and highlight the importance of sea turtles. And would not be rightfully celebrated without mentioning, Dr. Archie Carr, Sea Turtle Conservancy’s founder and “father of sea turtle biology.” World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated the same day as Dr. Carr’s birthday.
Dr. Carra will forever be remembered for the enhancement of the sea turtle conservation movement and the legacy he has left behind. His research and advocacy brought attention to the threatening conditions that continue to impact sea turtles today.
SEA TURTLES THREATS
Entanglement in fishing gear: Turtles get caught on long-lines, in shrimp nets, and get injured with bomb fishing.
Consumption and illegal trade of eggs and meat: Turtle eggs are considered to be an aphrodisiac in many places (with no basis in science) and their meat (primarily green turtles) is still consumed, even though both are illegal in most countries.
Coastal development: Building on nesting beaches, mangroves, and other important coastal areas can affect turtles ability to nest and feed and prevent hatchlings from surviving.
Plastic and other marine debris: Turtles eat plastic, get caught in it, have to wade through it in the water and on beaches, and microplastic can affect nests and hatchlings.
Global warming: Rising temperatures increase sand temperatures, which can cause only females to be born. Climate change also impacts sea level rise, which can erode nesting beaches, and cause coral bleaching, an important habitat for hawksbills.
Turtleshell Trade: Hawksbill turtles in many places are prized for their shells, which are used as decorations or turned into products like jewelry and other crafts.
REASONS SEA TURTLES ARE REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT
Turtles help control their prey. For example, leatherbacks help manage the amount jellyfish in the ocean, hawksbills help reefs by eating sponges that compete with them for space.
Turtle nesting helps beaches. The nutrients left behind by eggs and hatchlings that don’t survive provide an important source for coastal vegetation.
They are important for coastal economies and native communities. Many places rely on turtle watching or diving for jobs and income and a number of indigenous communities revere sea turtles as part of their cultures. Plus there are emotional and psychological benefits to seeing a sea turtle in the wild.
Green turtles grazing on seagrass is an important way to keep seagrass beds healthy. And healthy seagrass benefits many species and stores carbon.
Main Sources: nationalgeographic.com, seeturtles.org, seaturtleweek.com
LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE OCEANS
VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save the current shape and biodiversity of the oceans. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „OCEANS“ area will by transfered to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.