Study reveals more than a million sea turtles illegally killed over past 30 years

Study reveals more than a million sea turtles illegally killed over past 30 years

The UN said that the global illegal wildlife market will be worth $23 billion annually, including trafficking and hunting.

A recent study revealed that over 1.1 million sea turtles have been illegally killed over the last 30 years. According to Arizona State University scientists, over the last ten years, at least 44,000 turtles have been illegally killed and exported annually across 65 countries, despite legislation designed to protect them.

The UN said that the global illegal wildlife market will be worth $23 billion annually, including trafficking and hunting.

Jesse Senko, the principal author of the study, said that the turtles were killed for their meat, their shells, and their parts were used to make jewellery, artifacts, and traditional medicines. Senko classified the species as critically endangered.

The researchers examined over 209 different peer-reviewed articles, reports, and surveys from conservation organisations to determine the extent of illegal turtle hunting. The study was published in the journal Global Change Biology, The Guardian reported.

According to the report, over 43,000 turtles were smuggled between 1990 and 2010, although Senko believes the data to be understated.

The study claimed that Southeast Asia and Madagascar are prime locations for illegal hunting. Vietnam holds the majority of the illegal sea turtle trade, and the two most common markets for illegal turtle items are China and Japan.

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Senko said that as long as higher-income nations continue to want turtles as luxury commodities, developing nations will continue to supply them.

The report's estimation that illegal sea turtle exploitation has decreased by 28 per cent over the previous 10 years is one of the more encouraging facts in the report.

Senko said that this information can be used to know which turtles are being hunted and where. This could help pave the way for figuring out what steps environmentalists and lawmakers should take to safeguard sea turtle

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