Preserving Sea Turtles in United States Essay

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Preserving Sea Turtles in United States

Sea turtles, which have been around for millions of years, are on the brink of extinction. In many countries, people consider their meat and eggs as prized delicacies. Often times they are just killed for their beautiful shell. However, the leading cause of sea turtle death in the US can be attributed to shrimp fishermen and the nets they use to catch shrimp (1). Each year, thousands of sea turtles are carelessly killed even though there are measures which can be taken to avoid this catastrophe. With proper usage of a device called the Turtle Excluder Device (TED), shrimp fishermen could reduce sea turtle deaths in their nets by 97% (5) thereby increasing the likelihood for survival of all six
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The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a medium to large bodied sea turtle that is actually brownish in color. Adult shell lengths range from 0.9-1.1 meters and weights average 90-137 kilograms. these turtles are primarily a herbivorous species and the young can often be found in Florida waters, especially in areas with an abundance of sea grasses. The decline in these turtles these turtles has been mostly due to commercial harvest for eggs and food, as well as leather and jewelry (7).

The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is small to medium in size with an attractively colored shell of thick overlapping scales. This shell is the source of "tortoise shell." Hawksbill turtles are named accordingly because of their hawk-like beak. They range in size from 45-90 kilograms in weight and 0.8-1.0 meters in length. Commercial exploitation is the main cause of the continued decline of the hawksbill turtle because of the high demand for "tortoise shell" products (7).

The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepodochelys kempii) is the smallest and most endangered sea turtle. The adult size does not exceed 0.8 meters in length and they usually weigh between 36 and 45 kilograms. These are commonly olive gray but they are black when they are young. Kemp ridley turtles inhabit the coastal waters and bays of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic
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