Sea Turtle Conservation Essay

1598 words - 7 pages

Sea Turtle Conservation: Are Humans Really to Blame? It was a typical fifth day of June, hot and windy, in Bald Head Island as our church bus pulled in to the parking lot of the Sea Turtle Conservation Agency. There had been a lot of chatter on the bus about what to expect that day as we started our volunteer work with the sea turtles. As we went in the staff and our leader, Stacey, greeted us. From there, we were lead into a small conference-like room where we watched a slide show on what sea turtles' nests look like and what destroyed nests look like as well. It wasn't until after that devastating video of mangled turtle eggs and hatchlings that I realized something needed to be done about ...view middle of the document...

It is because humans do not want to change their behaviors. All of these potential threats could be overcome, if there was just enough cooperation from the human population.There are many potential threats to sea turtles in their habitats. According to Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles, sea turtles have two main habitats. These habitats are the ocean and the beach shore. In the ocean, which is seen as their primary habitat, they spend most of their time in the deeper parts. However, the often can be found in the shallow waters of the ocean as well. On the shore, although they do not spend a lot of time there, it is considered a part of their habitat because this is where they nest; also this is where they face the most danger.As each of the habitats differ, so do the potential threats that sea turtles face. While they are in their primary habitat, the ocean, they face the threat of fisherman. In the more shallow areas, they risk the chance of being hooked or of becoming entangled in monofilament. Even though this is a lesser common potential threat it still poses problems. Although this doesn't play a big role there are no solutions to this problem other than strictly abandoning fishing, which is not exactly a popular idea (Lollar).However, in the deeper parts of the ocean they face the chance of being caught in a shrimp trawler's net and literally being drowned to death. In this process they are scooped up by the trawling net and dragged along the bottom of the ocean, which prevents them from breathing and therefore drowns them. The threat of deep-sea fishing and turtles being picked up in shrimp trawlers' nets is a much more common problem. Even though there is a solution for this threat, it costs millions of dollars and is only required in areas with high numbers of sea turtles. This solution is the Turtle Excluder Device (TED). The TED is a small, metal trapdoor in the trawling net that keeps the shrimp in, but lets sea turtles escape before the get trapped and are drowned (Sea Turtles 1).The main reason these threats have not been stopped is because humans do not want to either stop fishing in the shallow ocean, or pay the millions of dollars for a TED if it is not required (Sea Turtles 1). I understand that no one in this case is intentionally causing any harm, however they are not trying to prevent it either. Also, I realize that millions of dollars is a lot of money to spend, especially on a method of saving the life of an animal that in no obvious way benefits us, however, wouldn't we want them to try everything they could to save us if the roles were reversed? Light pollution on nesting beaches is another detrimental factor to sea turtles because it alters critical nocturnal behaviors. The beaming light is too much for their sensitive eyes and can therefore effect how sea turtles choose nesting sites, how they return to the sea after nesting and how hatchlings find the sea after emerging from their eggs (Witherington 1). "This is...

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