It seems unfathomable that the sea turtle could go extinct considering this animal has been on our planet for at least 65 million years.
In Chinese mythology, the sea turtle represents wisdom. Some say that this creature has been swimming in our oceans for 200 million years. They survived an ice age – so the Chinese myth likely has some wisdom in it. This is an incredibly resilient species.
Sea turtles were around while dinosaurs roamed on the earth, and even lived through the dino’s catastrophic fate. Yet, six of the seven sea turtle species have been on an endangered species list, until now.
In recent years, it was observed that sea turtles were dying off at an alarming rate, however, great news has surfaced. The conservation efforts surrounding the sea turtle have paid off. This amazing 65- million-year-old creature will likely live on.
Scientists have been measuring the population trends of sea turtles as well as protecting the eggs of nesting females to reduce by bycatch (the phenomenon of accidental sea turtle death by fisheries that catch adult turtles in their nests along with other intended fish). The decline in leatherback turtles in the Eastern and Western Pacific hands to an abundance of newly born sea turtles.
In brief, the sea turtle population is back on the rise again, but they still need ongoing support from people – the very same folks who have threatened their habitats, upset their mating rituals, and even accidentally killed them with irresponsible fishing practices. The very same people who almost killed off a 65-million year old species in a hundred years.
To help the sea turtles thrive, you can make sure not to disturb nesting turtles, or hatchlings. Reduce your plastic consumption so that you protect their habitat. Our oceans are choked with plastic bags, plastic take-out containers, and single-use plastic cups. Ocean clean-up is imperative for protecting not only sea-turtles, but all ocean life.
Sea turtles also need a dark, quiet beach for mating and nesting.
You should also fill in holes or knock down sand castles that you build at the beach after a day of fun. The holes can be a trap for hatchlings that try to swim out to sea soon after they are born.
If you see a sea turtle while swimming in the ocean, give them at least 50 yards of swimming space. If you are in a boat, but the motor to prevent damage to their fins should they swim too close.
If we keep up the conservation efforts that were started a decade ago, the sea turtle will likely survive and thrive.