ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Geography, Nature & Weather

Marine Turtles: Listed as Endangered due to habit loss, hunting, trade, accidental fisherman capture and pollution

Updated on January 22, 2016
Catherine Stolfi profile image

Catherine is an independent research consultant at NASA Langley with degrees in English, Biology, and Environmental Science (M.S.).

Source

Marine Turtles are listed as endangered or critically endangered for 6 out of the 7 existing tortuous species as listed by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The turtle is known for having many offspring but few survivors and this is actually part of their natural life cycle. However, we are now seeing a rapid increase of outside factors affecting the survival of this 100 million year old species.

Even under natural conditions few hatchlings survive their first year of life due to predator interaction. This starts from the second they are hatched. Turtles have a natural instinct to migrate towards the ocean water from the moment they are born but some predators, such as crabs, can crawl up and snatch a hatchling before he even makes it back to the seashore. Birds and Fish can also feed on them in shallow waters.

Source

Most marine turtles spend their entire lives in the ocean and only females return to the shores to lay their eggs during the appropriate season. Once the turtle hatches and makes his way to the ocean, he is on his own to dodge predators and find food. Given simply these natural dangers faced, almost 1 in 1000 survives to adulthood. Another, not commonly known, phenomenon is cold stunning. This happens to marine turtles when they are unable to swim to warmer waters in order to survive the harsh winter waters near the beaches where they were born. It’s still not fully known what causes some turtles to migrate while others are left behind. Those that are, however, get found often on beaches, trying to escape the cold water in a kind of cold shock. Many times because these cold-blooded reptiles have a slower heartbeat and decreased circulation, they often seem like they have already died. This may not be the case. You should always call your local animal control or local wildlife rescue service. It can be detrimental to put these turtles back into the freezing cold waters and specific precautions need to be taken in order to save them.

If we now throw in human interference of turtles in their natural habitat or where they lay their eggs, the scale becomes violently tipped into a danger zone for this species.

Source

According to the WWF, there are a number of anthropogenic main threats to the Marine Turtle. These include habit loss and degradation, hunting and poaching, trade, accidental fisherman capture and pollution to name a few.

The habitat loss is of the beaches that are a vital nesting site for female turtle. Homes built on the sea often need protection such as with dredging or sand filling. This can alter nestling sites or eliminate them altogether. Coral Reefs are important turtle feeding habitats, which often get destroyed by sedimentation or irresponsible fishing techniques.

A large number of these turtles are hunted for consumption including the eggs buried on the beaches before they even hatch. An estimated 30,000 green turtles are taken near Baja California on the pacific coast while almost 50,000 are killed in the South pacific and Asia. Another popular practice is tortoises being taken for their shell or leather (such as in the Olive Ridley Turtle). This is an illegal practice as implemented by CITES in 1973 and is recognized in most countries but still practiced in some such as Japan.

Turtles can be caught in shrimp nets and unable to reach the surface to breath. Pollution in the waters can confuse the turtle, often mistaking plastic for an edible jellyfish, causing the turtle to choke. They can be caught in the plastic as well or in loose fishing gear, causing them to be trapped or unable to develop properly.

Many marine and conservation organizations recognize the dangers posed on these sea creatures and are actively trying to save the species. Nesting areas are now recognized and being protected, agreements are promoted to conserve marine turtles and fishing safe practices are being lobbied for. They are taking a strong stance against the illegal trade of turtle parts and eggs for consumption and for products being made from their shells or skin.


For more information on this amazing marine creature, visit http://worldwildlife.org/species/green-turtle.



More stories in Nature, Animals & Conservation

Illegal Ivory Trade on the Rise in Africa; Poaching for Elephant Tusks

Winter at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, NY

Natural Pet Food for a Healthier Pet


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Living near the ocean for many years, we often saw sea turtle protection areas which made our hearts sing. My daughter often worked to help set those areas up.

      Bright lights on the beach at night was also forbidden during nesting times.

      thank you so much for sharing this with us. We need more voices to speak out for our precious creatures.

      Sending Angels to you this morning.:) ps

    • profile image

      summerberrie 5 years ago

      It is so sad these sea turtles are still having such a hard time of it. I've visited sea turtle rescue hospitals. It is heartwarming to see all the effort to save these wonderful creatures. Nice hub. Voted up and useful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you! We need more voices speaking out as champions of nature. Well done!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)