Responsibility can Save Lives

By Alyssa Long

The Leaherback Sea Turtle

The leatherback sea turtle populations have declined in recent years. They are highly endangered due to many factors including overexploitation, habitat loss, irresponsible fishing, and pollution.
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Overexploitation

The sea turtles eggs are a prized food for both people and animals. They are easy prey so they are easily taken. People also hunt these sea turtles for food, and their shells and other parts are used as souvenirs, such as turtle-skin bas, jewelry made from shells, and stuffed turtles. They are killed and turned into oil for boats and oil lamps. They are also killed for medical uses such as medicines, local diets, and their eggs are used for aphrodisiac and energizing protein
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Are we to Blame?

Irresponsibility in people is the main reason why these sea turtles are going extinct. Large numbers of sea turtles are being killed by fishing nets each year. When they get caught in these nets they drown because they are unable to get air. Long-line fishing also endangers the turtles. The long-lines resemble jellyfish, which they prey on. Floating plastic garbage also resembles jellyfish, which is why 50 percent of leatherback sea turtles have plastic bags lodged in their stomachs or intestines. These are things that can be avoided if people throw away their trash or by being careful where they put their fishing nets.
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