Why Do Some Humans Poach Sea Turtles?



“Poaching” a dreaded word for any animal be it a marine animal or one that walks the land.  The illegal trade of eggs, meat, and shells of sea turtles has endangered these marine creatures further and it becomes worse by each day. Sea Turtle meat is harvested for human consumption, as it is considered a delicacy and very expensive as well. But no one things of the predicament of the Sea Turtle, who has much a right to live as does a human being.

It is surprising that turtle eggs that have been poached are sold in the open market of Malaysia and there are no restrictions to it. This goes to show how endangered the sea turtles are at present. Around 4,500 sea turtles are poached each year and this figure keeps increasing alarmingly at a terrific speed. It is not only the meat and eggs that poachers are after but the shell as well, as it is used for various fancy items such as hair slides. Their shells are also used for jewelry and other fancy ornaments.

As sea turtles come on to land to nest, the risk of their eggs being poached is higher than when they are in the water. It also emphasized on the fact that they could be carried away by humans in a bodily fashion. It is a “murder” of sorts when the poachers wait in ambush for the female to come ashore and when the eggs are hatched they kill the female sea turtle for the meat and take the eggs away, both for trading purposes. Hence, the threat to sea turtles is at large and become worse by the day.

The Hawk Billed Sea Turtle is the most hunted and expensive as they are lured into the trade because of the beautiful color scheme they possess: gold and brown shells. These sea turtles have been hunted for centuries before. Due to this fact, they fall into the endangered species of marine life.

According to statistics collected, over 30,000 sea turtles are poached each year in the USA, which is a high number for a marine animal who is on the way to extinction. Costa Rica has a sea turtle poaching problem and it is difficult to bring the poachers to book in that there are no laws in force to curb this type of poaching. These sea turtle eggs are thought to act as an aphrodisiac which is known as a love drug and increases libido, but there is no evidence to this at all.

The main problem is that though there are laws for the poaching of sea turtles, nothing has been done to implement them.

The sea turtle species who are in danger as they reach the shores are the Leatherback, Hawkbill and Green Turtles, who are all endangered species. However, in China, it is different as the poachers take to the waters and go deep into the ocean in search of sea turtles. They do not wait for them to come ashore to nest and this is causing a major problem both to the conservationists and well as it poses a threat to the lives of the poachers, who don’t seem to realize it due to the greed of the prey.

It is high time that the authorities take the poaching of sea turtles seriously and crack down on poachers. The Marine Conservation arena needs to look at this issue in a manner that would ensure the safekeeping of the sea turtles who are indeed an endangered species. Hence, it is the duty of all concerned to strictly implement and enforce the laws drawn up for the conservation of sea turtles.

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