Why are Green Sea Turtles Endangered?

Every year, the green turtles are harvested in hundreds or thousands for human consumption and trade around the world. The eggs of these turtles are usually harvested on sandy beaches, the nesting sites of the sea turtles.

However, one of the serious threats which may endanger the survival of these turtles is the fisheries bycatch. Unfortunately, these turtles are frequently caught up in fishing gillnets, shrimp trawl nets, longline hooks and other fishing gear. Once they are caught up in fishing nets, the green sea turtles are drowned because they can’t breathe especially when there is no way out. Besides, this fishing gear may also damage the flippers and jaws of the sea turtles when they are entangled in these nets. There are some trawls that have Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) so that if any sea turtle is accidentally entangled in the fishing gear, it may run away through this device.

The habitat degradation also poses serious hazard to the green sea turtles. This includes the dock construction and vehicle traffic on shorelines because the green sea turtles use beaches as their nesting sites. Since these turtles also graze on beds of sea grasses and algae, such feeding sites are at risk too because of sedimentation and environmental pollution caused by such human-induced activities on coastal areas.

Sources:

Henry, Leigh. “Green Turtle”. World Wildlife Fund

“Threats to Sea Turtles”. NOAA FISHERIES.

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