Sea turtles are mysterious and elegant. But unfortunately, this species is at the edge of extinction that too is because of us. So, as responsible human beings, we must come forward to help these creatures. Here are some things we can do to help sea turtles today,
- Do not throw plastic waste on the beach or in the ocean.
- Protect the nesting areas.
- Keep flashlights, sound systems, and entertainment instruments out of the nesting zones.
Well, there are more! I have discussed them all in the article below.
12 Things We Can Do To Help Sea Turtles Today!
You can do many things for a sea turtle without compromising your good night’s sleep. Here is a list,
1. Start with Cleaning
Scientific research shows that around 52% of the total sea turtle population has ingested plastic at one point in their lives. Isn’t it terrible?
You may wonder what a single plastic can do to a sea turtle. Well, it can do a lot.
First, the sea turtle’s digestive system is not programmed to break down plastic. As a result, those plastics cause intestine blockage.
Because of the plastic in the stomach, the turtles always feel full and avoid eating. But alas! Plastics have no nutrition and do no good for these creatures. Consequently, the turtles grow weak and starve to death.
Secondly, sharp plastic pieces can cut sea turtles’ guts or internal parts. Unfortunately, these marine life do not know how to deal with it and die suffering.
Now, you can ask me why a sea turtle would consume plastic. See, in the ocean, most turtle species live on jellyfish, snails, seaweed, etc. A floating plastic looks similar to a jellyfish, and the creature ends up having it. So, of course, you can not blame these innocent turtles.
This is just one perspective. The plastics in the ocean can do a lot more to sea turtles.
You know, no matter how efficient swimmers the sea turtles are, they need to come to the surface to breathe. But unfortunately, the waste nets or plastics in the can entangle the sea turtles. As a result, sea turtles can drown and die.
So, throwing away plastics on the beach or in the open sea does not look good. The waves will take them in and ultimately make the turtles suffer.
Then what can you do?
I request you not leave your chips packets or beer bottle rings on the beach after partying. Instead, find a bin and throw the garbage there. Similarly, save any plastic wastage for later disposal when in the ocean.
Your single plastic may not harm the sea turtles. But when everyone starts throwing trash in the ocean, it becomes hazardous. Nevertheless, our small steps can significantly impact saving sea turtles.
Lastly, you can participate in beach cleaning on your weekends. I know it does not sound lucrative. But your small contribution can help restore the imbalance in the world ecosystem.
2. Take Care Of The Nests
Sea turtles come to the shore mostly in the nesting season. However, depending on the species, these creatures might participate in community nesting or nest solo.
Call the authorities for proper protection if you notice a nesting spot in the coastal area. Generally, marine animal concerned organizations build safe zones for nesting areas.
Furthermore, never disturb a nesting sea turtle. It may feel threatened and leave the place without laying the whole clutch. Do you know what happens when a mother turtle fails to deposit her eggs?
It builds complexities in her body as the eggs are stuck. The mother tries to lay the eggs in water, but the water pressure and environment are unsuitable for this task. Therefore, the creature has a life risk, and there is no way of saving those eggs.
3. Keep The Area Clean
Sea turtle babies are fragile. They struggle a lot just to get out of the nest. After that, these hatchlings follow the ocean wave or the moonlight direction to reach the ocean.
However, the road is not always easy.
Sea turtle nests can be far from the beach, at least for the babies. So, by the time the hatchlings get to the water, they can be misdirected by even the smallest obstacles. Once misled, the turtles can never reach the sea again without help.
So, instead of putting more obstacles on their journey, you should pave a smooth road for them. For example, remove any chairs, nets, or recreational objects from the beach. No, I am not talking about the entire area. Just keep the nesting zone clean.
Moreover, the beautiful sand castles you make can hamper the journey of these hatchlings. So, you better fill up the holes and help the babies reach their homes safely.
4. Turn The Lights Off
As many of you know, baby sea turtles use mostly moonlight reflection to get to the sea. Hence, if you set up artificial lights in the beach areas, it will mislead the hatchlings. In the end, those will not be able to reach the water and roam around the area.
Unfortunately, this is not an adventure.
The babies can end up being a feast for predators. Even they can starve to death.
5. Do Not Overuse Chemicals
It may sound funny, but the chemicals and pesticides you use will wash back into the ocean, especially in coastal areas. Overuse of chemicals will surely fertilize your land but for a short time. On top of that, the chemicals are killing marine turtles.
Therefore, you should better look out for the ideal quantity of pesticides or fertilizers to use on your land.
6. Balloons Are Not Fun
Fireworks and balloons add an extra charm to the beach parties. But do you know the harm you are doing to marine life? Those wastages land on the ocean and mess up the lives of sea turtles.
7. Boating In The Sea
Roaming around in the open ocean on a boat is definitely an adventurous feeling. But watch out for the sea turtles, will you?
Despite being the master of swimming, sea turtles can not stay underwater forever. Instead, the creatures have to come to the surface to breathe air. A study reveals that sea turtles can hold their breath for 4 – 7 hours, depending on the activity level.
So, there is a chance that your boat can strike a sea turtle. If the boat is coming at speed, it will definitely injure the creature. Hence, you need to keep the boat speed level at a minimum and leave a 50 yards space for the turtles.
However, if the turtle gets a wound accidentally, contact the coastal guards and the nearest marine organization. Do not leave the creature in the middle of the sea.
8. Fishing Rules
You can go fishing in the deep ocean. But remember not to abandon your fishing hook or net in the ocean.
Those nets can entangle sea turtles and choke them to death. So it is better if you recycle the fishing nets.
Moreover, use circular hooks instead of sharp ones. The sharp hooks can pierce through the turtle’s flesh, giving them severe injury.
Furthermore, do not release the bait fish in the ocean. The sea turtles can mistake the area as a foraging zone and migrate there.
Finally, do not feed the marine turtles. It is illegal and a threat to their life.
9. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Believe it or not, climate change is real. Unfortunately, this environmental change is affecting marine life by hitting the sea with more disasters.
Unfortunately, we are responsible for this mess directly or indirectly. We all leave carbon footprints all over because of our wasting habits. It eventually impacts our climate and, thus, the marine turtles.
But with a few daily habits, we can reduce our carbon footprints. Such as,
- We can stop using the single-use-plastics.
- Any reusable good is appreciable.
- You can recycle used materials.
- We need to focus more on the compost system.
- Try reducing your oil or fuel usage.
10. Seafood Has A Scarry Side
Seafood is delicious. There is no doubt about that. But many marine lives have to die to serve you that yummy platter.
In many places, sea turtles are considered food. For example, in restaurants in Japan, China, and many coastal tribes, these turtles are served as an exquisite meal.
But you know that sea turtles are endangered. So, killing them to satisfy your taste bud does not justify the act.
So, the next time you notice sea turtle dishes, question the origin of the food. Again, killing or selling sea turtle bones or flesh is illegal in many countries and states. So, you can even report to the concerned authorities if you notice anything suspicious.
11. Turtle Tourism
Many states now offer you to spend time with sea turtles. There you can snorkel with the marine creatures and have the best time. But when in water with the turtles, do not harm them.
According to many reports, tourists often behave roughly with sea turtles. They shout at those creatures, try to mount them and even do some stupid acts with these sea animals. Remember, if you are seen doing any of these tasks, you will be fined and even can be sent to jail.
12. Given Them A Hand
Different marine organizations are working hard to preserve the conservation of sea turtle species. However, appreciating them will not be enough. So, why not give them a hand?
For instance, go to clean the beach on weekends. Also, you can try spreading awareness among people about sea turtle conservation.
Honestly, there is a lot you can do for sea turtles. You can go out there, keep the beaches clean, and make people aware of this species’s importance! But of course, I will not ask you for those. But I humbly request you to change your habits and aim for a sustainable world. This way, we can save sea turtles and keep the ecosystem balanced at the same time.