Posted May 2017
Historically, Sea Turtles enjoyed a prolific, unmolested, life, roaming the oceans of the world. During the 1940’s, especially after the World Wars, populations and industries grew at a phenomenal rate. The single largest blow to their numbers came from the worldwide increase in commercial fishing. Also, the number of people consuming turtle eggs increased beyond capacity. Coastal changes took a heavy toll on Sea Turtles everywhere; as did trash and waste disposal into the oceans, all went unchecked for decades. If you can imagine, millions of Sea Turtles disappeared from beaches where people once saw them nesting.
It was people living nearest the coastlines that first noticed the dwindling numbers. Beaches noted for regularly nesting thousands of turtles were recording fewer females returning.
It took a great deal of time and hard work by conservationists to establish programs geared to giving Sea Turtles a chance of survival.
Environmental watchdogs and governments planned solutions aimed at protecting the Sea Turtles. The first step was making everyone aware of the problem, and then involving all stakeholders in the program to save them. Together they started with public awareness on the beaches and in schools. Other measures were enforced by law through the Coast Guard and wildlife park management teams. It introduced the program where it affected Sea Turtles most; individuals, industry and commercial fishers forced by laws to protect the Sea Turtles.
The recovery plans began taking effect, perhaps not as quickly as some may like but it’s working nonetheless. The greatest support for change comes from the largest human-interest group in the world…children.
Children know more about conservation than many of the adults around them. Their classrooms deliver important conservation messages, including the Sea Turtle’s story. One day they will make the changes necessary for mankind to coexist with other species on this planet.
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