Ambassadors of the Sea

Posted by Travis Zinger on

As I child I dreamed of riding on the backs of giant sea turtles in the ocean and exploring the depths of the sea with the all knowledgeable sea turtle as my guide. As I have grown older, I realize that the sea turtle is in an all out struggle for it's life as a species. A major contributor to its looming extinction is human activity that leads to the depleting of vital environments the sea turtle needs to survive. As well as, they have become over fished and hunted for their shells, meat and eggs. In many occasions they have become a headache to large net fisherman trying to score thousands of fish with one swipe of a gill net. It's heart breaking to see my childhood icon facing extinction. The worse part is, it's mostly because people are unaware of the long term affects of their actions. Suprisingly, I was guilty of some of these very actions myself. I think most people love turtles or at a minimum tolerate them. Rarely do you meet somebody who just hates turtles. Now, I don't believe these people are evil villains that are hell bent on destroying turtles. I feel they just are unaware of what happens when a turtle mistakes a floating plastic bag with a jellyfish as its favorite snack.


It might not be a big deal, at the time, to utilize one time use plastic containers and discard them in the trash. That person might not realize that their plastic eventually makes its way to the ocean and joins up with millions of other pieces of plastic to form giant floating islands of garbage the size of Texas. Where as this could be an interesting back drop for a Robinson Crusoe style adventure film, the reality is that all this plastic breaks down over time and becomes fish food, bird food, turtle food, etc. Then other animals eat them and so on up the food chain, all getting contaminated by toxic plastic in their bellies. The cycle is vicious once it starts and completely devastating to ocean environments.


But good news is coming! New ways of human activity are having a global impact on the vitality of our oceans. People are getting educated about things that hurt the ocean, where as previously they might not have known that they were contributing to it's demise. Fisherman are developing special nets with escape panels for turtles in case they get caught by accident. Scores of volunteers are doing beach clean ups. Poachers and egg hunters are learning that it's very illegal to pursue their activities and that there are better ways to make money. People are living a greener lifestyle using less plastic and reducing their contribution to the plastic problem in the sea. It's all working. These sensible people are learning from their mistakes, righting their sails, and blazing a path to a new way of co-existence with our glorious reptilian icons of the sea. The problem is most certainly not over, and we need to keep educating new Eco Warriors everyday. So far, our efforts are working. Check out our awesome partners over at Billion Baby Turtles and the SEE Turtles organization. They are reaching unprecedented milestones. Let's help spread the love and the vision to save these magnificent ambassadors of the sea.

Click to read more about the Billion Baby Turtles Program

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