Thursday, April 25, 2024

WSO Calls on Nigerians to Desist from Sea Turtle Consumption

The World Sustainability Organisation (WSO) under its project, Friend of the Sea has urged Nigerians to start conserving sea turtles by desisting from eating the animal, to ensure stability of marine environment.

The World Sustainability Organisation (WSO) under its project, Friend of the Sea has urged Nigerians to start conserving sea turtles by desisting from eating the animal, to ensure stability of marine environment.

The founder and director of the group, Paolo Bray, made the call during an event held in Lagos, disclosed that sea turtles act as a check on predatory species, especially jellyfish which feed on other fish of commercial value.

Sea turtles are reptiles that exist in seven species which includes the flatback, green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, and olive ridley sea turtles. They are listed as endangered and/or threatened under the endangered species act.

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Bray noted that there is a need to create awareness and alternatives to poaching, adding that Nigeria has five of the seven species of sea turtles, and that they should not be allowed to go into extinction, in order to check jellyfish population from disrupting marine environments.

“So in areas where we have seen a decrease in turtles populations due to the accidental bycatch in fisheries as in the Gulf of Mexico, which is the case study, we have seen amazing growth in jellyfish population with the detrimental consequences for the other fish stocks which have decreased dramatically,” Bray said.

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Also speaking was a representative of The Sea Turtle Sanctuary, Mrs Doyinsola Ogunye who pointed out that it is a big challege to convince local fishermen to release sea turtles after the catch, due to ignorance and lack of enforcement of the law.

“They need to put in more effort. In a lot of places all around the world, turtles are being conserved, turtles are being protected, and that’s because it’s critically endangered,” Ogunye added.

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