Sea Turtles Endangered

Uncovering the true number of sea turtles in the world is very difficult. This is because the males and the young remain in the water almost all the time. The females only come to shore to lay their eggs. Therefore it is hard to really note if there is a decline or an increase in the numbers for specific species of sea turtles.

Based on what information we do have, the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle is the one that people are most concerned about. The last count was only thousands of them around the world. It is believed that the number of them has been slowly increasing though in the past few years which is encouraging.

There are quite a few reasons why the sea turtle population as a whole has been in danger. Humans have always been their worst enemy. Fishermen continue to get sea turtles in their nets and other equipment. By the time they are found though most of them have died. Many species of sea turtles are hunted in order to eat their meat or to get oils from their bodies. Even the shells of them have been used to produce goods.

The consumption of sea turtle eggs has long been considered a delicacy. It isn’t uncommon for a large number of what is laid on the land by sea turtles to be taken before the younglings ever have a chance to fully develop. When you add in the pollution that humans have contributed to the water and the fact that we continue to take the land they once used for depositing their eggs, you can see how we have a negative impact on their survival.

There is scientific evidence to suggest many seat turtles develop what is known as Fibropapillomas. These are various types of growths that form on their bodies. They can kill sea turtles as they can develop on the flippers and that will make movement very difficult. They can also grow on the face and that will impede their vision. Many sea turtles get infections in these areas that they die from.

Natural disasters are also to blame when it comes to the sea turtle population. For example the coast of Florida was hit four times in 2004 by hurricanes. More than half of that population of them was killed during these storms. When you consider that approximately 90% of all sea turtles in the USA are in that location it was a huge loss for the species as a whole.

Right now sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Even with such laws in place though many of them continue to be destroyed annually. The U.S. National Marine Fishery has also started to use devices that will exclude turtles from being captured with other aquatic life. It is mandatory to use and has been in place since 1989. However, there are still many countries out there where such laws aren’t in place.

A key way that conservation efforts are in place to protect sea turtles is to isolate their areas from public use on beaches. They also monitor these areas to be sure people aren’t coming in to take away eggs. Those in charge of such areas also try to keep predators out. They may go as far as to help the younglings get out of the eggs and into the water if they are struggling. These efforts are in place to help increase the survival rate of the younglings for sea turtles. Other efforts include taking injured sea turtles to live in captivity rather than allowing them to die in the wild.