Sea Turtles and Humans

Humans and sea turtles aren’t a good mix, and it is due to the selfish actions of many humans that sea turtles are an Endangered Species at this time. In the early days, it was common for sea turtles to be hunted. People needed them as a source of food and they also consumed their eggs.

However, in today’s society we have other ways to get meat and the eggs are only a delicacy and not a necessity. Still, humans continue to hunt them and to kill them for food and for the sport of it. In some parts of the world you can get a great deal of money for the shells of turtles so they are killed for such profit. While there are laws against this in many areas it is something that continues to take place anyway.

Sea turtles rely upon the food in the water for them to survive. Yet they have to compete with humans for access to it. There are huge fishing nets and devices out there to capture aquatic life. This makes it harder for the sea turtles to find what they need to survive on in many areas. There is also the risk of them being captured and killed in such fisherman activities as well.

While these sea turtles can move on to another location, it is important to remember that they have to get to their mating area and to the land where they can deposit their eggs. If they can’t do it, then there won’t be any eggs and new sea turtles out there. While each sea turtle can deposit 100 or more eggs, more than 90% of them are destroyed by humans and other predators. The collection of their eggs for food means that the number of young to make it to the water is significantly reduced.

Humans love the beaches too and so they continue to invade upon the space that was once isolated and the sea turtles used it to deposit their eggs on. Some areas have done a great job of sectioning off such areas so that humans can’t access it. Yet most of the time what occurs is that the natural habitat of these sea turtles is taken away from them. Females will only deposit eggs on the land where they were hatched. So if that is taken from them they will never lay any more eggs.

Not all humans are selfish and destroying the life of sea turtles though. Many people are part of significant conservation efforts to help them. They advocate for their beach areas to be protected and to fight pollution of the water. They have encouraged fishermen to use devices that are safe for sea turtles. They have also encouraged boats to avoid areas where sea turtles are known to migrate at certain times of the year.

The problem though is that such conservation efforts may be in place in some countries but not in others. That means that the number of them may increase somewhat in one location but then drop even more in another. Worldwide conservation for sea turtles is what is really needed for such efforts to be successful and long lasting.

The issues involving humans and sea turtles continue though in spite of such efforts. That is why more awareness about the concerns needs to be out there. Hopefully humans will realize the error of their ways before it is too late. The number of sea turtles is very low and they could all disappear over the next several decades if we aren’t careful.