July 25, 2014
On a weekend day our class teacher told us “children, tomorrow we will all go to Wadi Wurrayah National Park to see National Conservation Project of sea turtles. To show your love to these marine creatures, design a craft of sea turtle, recycling the waste around you. By doing this you can show your affection to these loving, harmless creatures in two ways. First, you will learn about them. Second, you reduce the harmful natural waste that is going to the sea or beach which is a natural habitat for sea turtles.” Hearing teacher’s words I was very excited and began to learn about sea turtles.
Sea turtles, also known as Marine turtles, lived 110 million years ago even when dinosaurs lived. Seven species live even today with colors ranging from yellow, black and greenish. Their common food is jelly fish, sea weeds, crabs, shrimps, snails, sponges, algae and mollusks. Sea turtles are found throughout the world in warm waters. Most of them migrate as far as 1400 miles. Like Salmons, sea turtles too return to the same nesting ground at which they were born. Female turtles swim to the shore, dig a nest in the sand using their back flippers, lay and bury around 70-190 eggs, then return to the ocean. Approximately at 60 days the hatched young ones come out from the nest during night time and move towards the ocean. Sadly, only 3-4% survive till adulthood. Except females the hatched young ones will not return to the shore once they return to the ocean.
Today sea turtles population has reached the brink of extinction. We humans are their worst enemies. We slaughter them for their eggs, meat, body fat, skin and shells. Their breeding grounds are hampered by climate change, habitat destruction, and poaching. Beach parties with flash lights and music hamper their nesting sites.
How can I save these gentle, loving creatures of the sea?
WWF has taken many initiatives to save the sea turtles. We the civilized society of the world must open our eyes to the reality. Poaching and illegal trade in eggs, meat, and skin of sea turtles must be stopped. Precautions must be taken while casting fishing nets and fish gears. Coastal development projects must be carefully planned. Playing with balloons should be avoided at the beaches. Plastic and marine debris should not be littered on and around the beaches and nesting grounds. Chemical waste should never be allowed to flow into the sea. Pets like dogs should not be taken for a walk near these spots to protect the eggs and the baby turtles.
As a student what can I do to save the sea turtles?
I will not litter plastic and garbage on the beach. I will press my parents not to participate in beach parties. I will motivate my friends to do what I decided to do. With my parents help, I will use Facebook to reach my like-minded friends and spread the message.