Sea turtles are among the reptiles that have inhabited this planet for more than 100 million years. They help maintain a healthy marine ecosystem by grazing on sea grass and keeping coral reefs clean and healthy. Unfortunately, over the last 100 years, their numbers have decreased by up to 80%. Overfishing, where turtles fall victim to fishing nets as a non-target species, so-called by-catch, the loss of their habitat, as well as the black market for their meat, eggs and turtle meat are to blame. At the same time, such a turtle has a long and demanding life. It takes many years to mature, returns to the beach where it was once hatched and lays the next generation of turtles there to preserve its species. Many pitfalls await her during this journey through life. Out of up to a hundred laid eggs, only a part will live to maturity. Some turtles do not hatch, some eggs are food for predators such as varans, and other, already hatched turtles are eaten by other predators such as birds on their way from the beach to the sea. Only a part of those who successfully reach the sea are lucky enough to grow up. And we are talking about the natural cycle of life. If we include impact of humans anctivities, all species of turtles get on the list of endangered animals. In addition to the consumption of turtle meat itself, it is mainly the consumption of eggs. Egg poachers are able to collect all the nests from the beaches, amounting to thousands of potentially unhatched chicks. This leads to the fact that the next generation of turtles does not hatch, and in the longer term there will be a decrease in turtles overall. Additionally, turtle eggs have been found to contain toxins, making them not even a healthy food. In addition, the top layer of the turtle's shell, the so-called carapace, or tortoiseshell, is mainly used to make jewelry such as bracelets. To obtain the turtle shell, a cruel practice is used where the live turtle is nailed to a board, the top layer of the shell is heated, the shell is then pulled from alive turtle and the turtle is thrown back into the sea. This very cruel and certainly extremely painful method will cause the death of the animal from infection. However, the animal dies very slowly. Another human activity that negatively affects the life of sea turtles is the construction of giant hotel complexes or other luminous objects, which causes the turtles to become disoriented when entering the beach during egg-laying time. Turtles follow the light of the moon and cannot orient themselves in space due to artificial light.
I dare say that everyone has to be excited when see a turtle swimming in the sea. This magnificent, huge animal that has lived here for millions of years will hopefully stir up emotions in all of us. So let's protect them and don't, for example, buy turtle products or consume their eggs or meat in exotic countries. If you see a turtle in the sea or on the beach, do not unnecessarily disturb it, do not touch it and certainly do not ride on its shell. If you are ever tempted to go see turtles in artificial pools as a tourist attraction, avoid these places at all cost. If the turtles are not visibly injured and do not need the necessary veterinary care, then they do not belong in the pool. In order for small turtles to have well-developed lungs and muscles, they must swim long distances. They are not allowed to do that in pools. In addition, it often happens that they nibble each other's body parts in such a small space. Sea turtles deformed in this way, without developed muscles and lungs, have no chance of long survival, and releasing them into the wild would almost certainly mean death. It is essential for baby turtles to get to the sea as soon as possible after hatching. Therefore, do not prevent them from doing this and, on the contrary, support the creation of a new generation of these beautiful reptiles. A big problem at this time is also huge pollution of the seas, especially plastics. Not only turtles easily mistake plastic products, such as plastic bags, for jellyfish, which are their natural food. Such plastic can cause a lot of trouble in the turtle's stomach and even kill it. The turtles found with artificial drinking straws stuck in their nostrils or plastic rings from drinking bottles around their necks are no exceptions. So let's try to live in such a way that we negatively influence sea turtles as little as possible. The marine ecosystem is essential for the survival of our species, too.