Protecting Hawksbill Sea Turtle
The northern coast of Columbia was once home to a plethora of sea turtle, it was documented by Spanish historians over 500 years ago that natives would collect nesting sea turtles for food, rituals and ornaments. However, in the 1950s the sea turtle population around Columbia began to dramatically decline as they were over hunted. Through until the 1990s you could find sea turtles on the menu in local Columbian restaurants as well as available to buy in markets in the form of oil, meat, eggs or shells. Not only were hawksbill turtles the target of hunters for profit, but they were also so susceptible to being accidentally caught by fishermen who were out catching fish.
Thankfully, these sea turtles weren't wiped out by the desire for their shells, eggs and meat. They can still be found in the reefs and shallows off the coast of Columbia with many of the locals coming together to protect the nesting sites to prevent further poaching of eggs and ensure the survival of nesting females who were once hunted for their shells. Gone are the sea turtle slaughterhouses, it is rare to find sea turtle meat on menus and rather than hunters on the beach during nesting season instead there are monitors and patrols set on protecting the mother sea turtles and her clutches of eggs.
But, even with the demand in local Columbia decreasing there are still sea turtles being caught and sold for their meat and shells, just a few years ago a video surfaced on Facebook of a mother sea turtle making her way back to the ocean after successfully nesting, and just as she reached the waves of the sea she was snatched up by a hunter. We know that eggs are still taken from nests, granted these issues pose a less of a threat than they did 60 years ago but when sea turtles across the world are also facing threats from other sources such as pollution, loss of habitat & nesting sites, bycatch and global warming.
If you are interested in learning more about Hawksbill Sea Turtles you can check out our handy information sheet from last years Turtle Week!
How you can help:
There are a few ways that you can help to protect hawksbill sea turtles:
Do not buy tortoise shell - when you go on holiday abroad quite often souvenir shops will be selling tortoise shell, which is actually often harvested from hawksbill sea turtles! You can also report any shops selling legitimate tortoise shell.
Raise awareness - Spread the word and let people know about these critically endangered sea turtles.
Reducing plastic waste and chemical waste - both theses forms of waste can be hazardous to sea turtles.
Sign & share petitions - There are plenty of petitions out there demanding action to protect these sea turtles. We have one below for you to support!
The Columbian coast is home to 6 of the 8 species of sea turtles, and they are all vital to the eco system there. They help to maintain the habitat and ensure that sponges do not take over coral reefs. Natalia Moreno has set up a petition to members of the Columbian government to encourage them to do more to protect theses sea turtles.
Special Buy One Get One Free Offer!
Show your love and support for sea turtles this May with an epic Buy One Get One Free offer on Leather Sea Turtle Bracelets! These bracelets are crafted from recycled leather & hemp rope with metal sea turtle pendants, they can be adjusted to fit most wrists and are a fantastic gift for sea turtle lovers!
Throughout May you can take advantage of this limited offer to buy one and get one for free! Simply pick out the bracelet colours you want and add them to your cart, the discount will be applied automatically. If you buy 2 you'll get 2 for free, so this is a great opportunity to snatch up a few for friends and family at a great discount.
This month we are donating 10% of gross profits to the wonderful Sea Turtle Conservancy to support their mission to ensure the survival of sea turtles. Also, we are able to save a baby sea turtle through our donations to the Billion Baby Turtles project, so every single order saves at least 1 sea turtle hatchling!
1] The State of the World's Sea Turtles - Changing the Future for Colombia’s Sea Turtles, March 17th 2020