We live in a world of interconnectedness; the human-induced threats sea turtles and other species contend with – fishery impacts, coastal development, poaching, pollution, and climate change – are forces we all influence and all have the power to change. Take the following immediate actions and help protect sea turtles and other marine life, around the world.
Choose your seafood wisely
Smart seafood choices are good for everyone: sea turtles, oceans, fishermen, you, and your family. Online resources such as Seafood Watch and the Marine Stewardship Council provide you with all the information you need to select the best catch of the day, whether at home or out on the town. Follow sustainable seafood guidelines and use your purchasing power to help improve this key industry.
Don't consume or purchase sea turtle products
When it comes to food, expose the myth: sea turtle eggs, meat, oils, and fat do not possess any special medicinal properties. They may, however, contain dangerous levels of toxins such as cadmium and mercury. When it comes to fashion, remember that no sea turtle products are safe to buy, even if marketed as antiques. Every tortoiseshell or turtle leather trinket bought, contributes to the continued poaching of sea turtles.
Support turtle-friendly development along coastlines
You have the choice to support real estate and tourism developments that take care not to destroy beaches, sand dunes, and mangroves, as well as those that turn off lights in the evening to avoid discouraging sea turtles from nesting. If you own coastal property, find out how to minimize your impact on local wildlife. No matter where you live, Florida Fish & Wildlife's Beach Construction and Lights Guidelines are a resource you can use.
Keep rivers, streams, and oceans clean
Even if we don't directly place it there, our rubbish often ends up in the oceans. Some of it is carried by wind or in streams and rivers, while other forms of waste are just improperly disposed of. All of it causes damage to ocean wildlife. When disposing of your trash, first recycle as much as you can, and then take care to properly dispose of the rest. To help protect your local waters, join in the annual International Coastal Cleanup, or organize a cleanup in your area.
Reduce your carbon emissions
To help minimize the effects of global warming on oceans, use energy-efficient appliances; turn off all lights and all electrical appliances when you aren’t using them; reduce your use of hot water; drive less, consolidate short trips, and carpool when possible; and consider a fuel-efficient vehicle for your next car purchase. You can gauge your carbon emissions using CI's online carbon calculator.