Happy World Turtle Day! As you know, we at DivePhotoGuide love turtles! I think all divers and underwater photographers do.
As scuba divers, we enjoy the privilege of visiting the underwater world that most people will never experience. However, the oceans are under attack, and as ambassadors of the ocean and its inhabitants there are simple things that we can do to help.
1. Keep Plastics Out Of The Ocean - Always properly
any plastic materials. Garbage, such as plastic bags, kills many sea
turtles who either ingest it or become entangled in it. Getting
involved in reef clean-ups or even beach clean-ups can help remove some
of the plastic that may have otherwise threatened turtles.
2. Support Efforts To Combat The "Asian Turtle Crisis" -
The majority of Asian turtle populations have been critically
diminished by over-collection, particularly for delicacies in
restaurants and live animal markets. Dealers are now targeting turtle
populations elsewhere, such as in the United States and Europe, to meet
the Asian demand. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified
this as the "Asian turtle crisis," and it has spearheaded efforts to
protect turtles from the trade. Turtles are also among the most popular
offerings at live animal markets in the United States. They suffer
terrible abuse in filthy, neglectful conditions, and they are
slaughtered by being cut apart while conscious.
3. Don't Harass Turtles While Diving - When encountering turtles, resist the urge to reach out and pet or otherwise touch or grab them. Many turtles will allow you to come close. Feel free to take pictures, but don't bother the turtles.
4. Help Protect Nesting Areas - Research the nesting season for any beaches you are visiting. Avoid the beaches at night. Sometimes just your presence will frighten nesting sea turtles back into the sea, preventing them from laying eggs and jeopardizing any eggs they have laid. Additionally, you should voice your opposition to coastal development such as condominiums, houses, resorts, and hotels; they tend to expose beaches to excessive artificial lighting, which discourages female turtles from approaching the beach to lay eggs. The light also draws hatchlings away from the ocean, disorients them, and exposes them to predation and deadly dehydration.
5. Get Involved & Spread The Word - Support conservation efforts with donations or volunteering your time. There are many groups involved in research, conservation, and advocacy work to protect turtles. Join one of these groups to stay informed. And of course, spread the word! Help educate others about the importance of protecting turtles from commercial exploitation and abuse in your community and throughout your travels.
Let's support the world's turtles and get the word out, we can all make a difference!
Another date to remember is the World Sea Turtle Day, the day to remember of the sea turtles that is held every 16th of June. The reason why for this particular date is to also remember the works done by Dr. Archie Carr, the greatest sea turtle expert that has ever lived.
Dr. Archie Carr
World Sea Turtle Day
World Turtle Day
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