Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
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Basic facts of the sea turtles
Apart from the Flatback Turtles, the other 6 species of sea turtles are either "Vulnerable", "Endangered" or "Critically Endangered". In fact, the chance of a hatchling going into adulthood is approximately one in a thousand. The decline of sea turtles is largely undermined by human activities as summarized below:
Over hunting and egg collection
Sea turtles have been harvested for food and ornamental products. The fat and cartilage of the Green Turtles were used in the making of soup, a delicacy on the western menu. On the other hand, the shells of Hawksbill were used in the making of a variety of jewelry and decorative items such as bracelets and combs.
Beach development, recreational activities or light may deter the female turtles from coming ashore to nest. Moreover, intense light can disorient the turtle hatchlings from crawling into the sea, causing deaths to the hatchlings.
Ghost nets in the sea can entangle and drown the sea turtles to death.
Busy marine traffic
Busy marine traffic increases the chances of collision with vessels or their propellers.
Plastic bags resemble jelly fish, the favourite food of the sea turtles, and swallowing plastic bags can cause a failure in the digestion system of sea turtles. Moreover, debris accumulated ashore hinders movement of nesting turtles and hatchlings.
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Last Review Date : 18 February 2017