As a citizen of Earth...Hawksbill Sea Turtle petition

By 9:11 PM ,

A few months ago, I remember going on our (local) Wall Street by the soup lady inquiring what soup was being sold that night. I could be mistaken (but I doubt), however, I believe I heard "turtle" being an option which turned me off. I remember this night very clearly because it was leading up to elections and I got caught up in, what at that time was considered, a typical political debate with Sher, Adri & her husband over which party is going to win and why they deserve support which made me very weary and hungry.

That's all well and good, elections have come and gone. But the issue of impending extinction to global species still hangs over head. The only turtle, to my knowledge, protected locally is the Leatherback. A few weeks ago, en route to school, an acquaintance of mine informed me about a place either in Calliste or Woburn that religiously and reliably sells turtle soup every weekend throughout the year. I know this isn't something that people may necessarily see as disturbing as it is cultural practice but it isn't a sustainable practice.

What reminded me funnily enough was a post I saw on Facebook shared by Aquanauts Grenada requesting folks to sign the petition to remove any open season to hunting of Hawksbill turtles.

Why is it not sustainable? Simply put, these turtles (as with other turtles) take a while to reach maturity. It could take anywhere between 20-40 years to mature - that is, to become adults and make it to reproductive age. Many no longer make it to that age due to over-exploitation of their meat and eggs. Their shells are also valued as decorative pieces to hang on walls or as the chief source of the decorative tortoiseshell. Nesting sites are threatened by both man and animals. They also face habitat loss and degradation. At sea, they're susceptible to becoming entangled by fishing nets and as with other marine life, ingest pollution such as plastics.

Most of the time... we can barely tell the difference. How could they?

Sea turtle mistaking plastic bag for a jellyfish in Trinidad

They are currently listed on the IUCN as critically endangered... an estimate in decline of 84-87% of mature females in the last three Hawksbill generations.

Why should you care about signing a petition to ban it in Grenada?

Earth is an island. We can't exactly pick up ourselves and move to another planet because we don't like how the breeze blows and the trees sway. These species being migratory, it is difficult to come up with a secure conservation plan. What one country might sign on to may not be what the country upstream or downstream adheres to. However, inaction or not doing anything at all is never the correct choice to make. Everything has to start somewhere and eventually with the cooperation of all the nations there can be a turnabout.

How do they affect us humans and our world? Although they're omnivorous. Their flesh is harmful to humans because of their sponge diet. They often consume sponges that contain toxic chemical compounds that could eventually lead to serious illness or death.

In addition, they play an important role in the upkeep of coral reefs. The Caribbean is one of the world's most important biodiversity marine & terrestrial hotspots. This means that its considered to be the residence of some of the richest land and marine environments in the world. The Hawksbills consumption of sponges aids the growth of corals. It's estimated that one turtle can consume over 1,000 lbs of sponges per year and without them, the sponges would overgrow the corals and suffocate them (

How can you help?

Click on the photo below and sign the petition.

Full Protection for Hawksbill Sea Turtles on the Island of Grenada

More info about the turtle if you're curious:

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