Why are important see turtles to our life? We can present many answers for this questions. Sea turtles are an important and fundamental link in marine ecosystems. They help maintain the health of sea grass beds and coral reefs that benefit commercially valuable species such as shrimp, lobster and tuna. Dwindling of turtles, affect the health and survival of the world’s ocean. However, we have to take necessary steps to improve this crucial circumstance and save the beneficial turtles as we are stewards of the nature and creatures.
Causes of Crisis
Unfortunately, humanity is the major factor of this crisis. Human activities have tipped the scales against the survival of these ancient mariners. The rapid decline of sea turtle populations is directly and indirectly connected to human activities in recent years.
Here are some another major reasons for this disappointing slaughter:
Fishing gear: accidently “bycatch” captures thousands of sea turtles every year and it occurs when fishing equipment (nets, trawls, hooks) catch animals that they were not meant to catch.
Plastic and trash patches in our oceans not only get eaten by marine life, but also pollute our ocean and water for everyone and produce other reason. Besides, sea turtles often mistake trash for the creatures and ingesting trash can make them very sick and even block their intestines, which can cause death!
Boat props: When people drive their water-crafts (boats, jet skis, etc) carelessly, they can accidentally hit a sea turtle. Shell injuries are very life threatening, and many do not make it.
Destruction of nesting habitat: Critical nesting beaches for sea turtles are quickly disappearing due to erosion caused by constantly building new condos, houses, and roadways on the coast. Additionally, lights on building and roads can confuse night-time nesters and make them unable to find their way to the ocean. leaving beach chairs, umbrellas, and toys on the beach for turtles to get entangled in as they are coming up to nest and Driving on the beach can also pose awful threats to nesting sea turtles.
Poaching: while most countries have banned haunting sea turtles, but they are constantly killed for their shell and skin to make different products. Bright patterned shells (specifically from the Hawksbill sea turtle) are used to make jewelry, guitar picks, and other accessories. Leather made from sea turtle skin is often turned into boots, belts, and wallets.
Fibro papillomas: The Fibropapilloma (FP) virus is a contagious, herpes-like virus found in sea turtles. This virus causes large tumors to grow on the soft tissues of sea turtles. They can grow both internally and externally, which can interfere with basic functions of their daily life and ultimately cause death. It is still unknown what causes the spread of this virus, but theories of its spread include marine leeches, invasive algae, agriculture run-off, and global warming.
What can we do?
It is important that we educate ourselves on the issues that are destroying our oceans and sea turtle populations. If we work to solve these problems, we can create a better marine ecosystem that will be mutually beneficial to humans and animals. It is important to pick up trash, no matter where you are. Take your trash with you when you leave the beach and if you see something left by someone else, do the right thing and pick that up too. Try to reduce the amount of waste you produce. Use biodegradable plates, reuse your plastic beach toys every year, and bring reusable bags and water bottles to your beach days instead of plastic, disposable ones.
Please do not support the harvest of sea turtles under any circumstances! If you are traveling to other countries, beware of these products and do no purchase them.
It is important to always follow speed limits and water safety laws when operating any water vehicle to avoid hitting turtles and injuring them.