Leatherback sea turtles are an endangered species. There were once millions of these animals in the sea and now there are only around 100,000 left due to impact from humans. Scientists believe that the leatherback sea turtle species may not exist in the near future.
The leatherbacks are being impacted by many different ways including habitat loss, irresponsible fishing, pollution and humans hunting them or using their flesh for materials.
There are many examples of how the leatherback is being affected. First of all, there is habitat loss due to people use many of the same beaches as the sea turtles’ nesting beach, and they are easily disturbed by noise and bright lights in addition to the eggs often being crushed and killed. Secondly, pollution and littering from people has taken a big hit on the leatherback sea turtles lives. Leatherbacks mistake plastic bags flouting around in the water to be jellyfish, then they choke on the bag and often die. Thirdly, they are easy prey to catch by humans for food and their shells along with using parts to make caulk materials to sell. Finally, they are killed due to commercial fishing companies as they often get caught in the fishing nets and drown. An example of how much just one part of the world has impacted the leatherback is that “Japan historically has been the largest importer of sea turtle products in the world. Between 1970 and 1989, Japan imported 1.5 million pounds of shell, which represents 700,000 dead sea turtles”.
To save the sea turtles, we need to make immediate changes to the things that are killing them including: protection of nesting sites, hatcheries where eggs can be grown, changes to the types of fishing nets, education of everyone in the world and talking to those that consume the turtles and export sea turtle products and tell them to stop. We can stop littering and go out and pick up trash where sea turtles are located. We should make a law about people being allowed to go on sea turtles’ nesting beaches.Watch The Channel (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
I am especially concerned about Leatherbacks as I’ve seen them up close in the wild and in a place that works to save them. A couple of summers ago, my parents took me to a sea turtle rescue facility in Key West, Florida. They help injured sea turtles by untangling fishing line they are caught in and trying to save them. Once they are well again, they release them back into the ocean. They have saved thousands of turtles so far, and if more people helped, we could save them all.
Central Middle School student Alec Hergenroeder would like to help save the sea turtles.