Shark Bite #16
Welcome to Shark Bite #16.
This one has a little bit of good & bad. They always say to start with the bad news first, right?
Humans have illegally killed more than 1.1 million sea turtles over the past 30 years
A scientific study led by Arizona State University estimates that ~44,000 sea turtles have been illegally killed & exploited every year for the past several decades.
And two species, in particular, are facing the brunt of this activity: green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles. They account for more than 90% of the turtles killed.
Endangered turtles are hunted for their meat and beautiful shells, which are considered a status symbol in many countries. Most of the hunting occurs in southeast Asia and Madagascar. From there, the turtles are trafficked through Vietnam before being sold in China, Japan, and other popular markets.
The study included data from 65 countries and is considered to be an underestimate as illegal activity is difficult to accurately track. This is awful and it’s part of a bigger problem – the illegal wildlife market. From endangered rhinos to sea turtles, it’s estimated to be worth $23 billion per year.
Conservation groups are working nonstop to prevent the hunting & trafficking of endangered animals. But with so much money to be made in the illegal markets, poachers just simply are willing to take the risk.
(Don’t) stay in your lane
The Mediterranean Shipping Company, the largest shipping container line in the world, has rerouted its shipping lanes off the coast of Sri Lanka to protect blue whales.
The readjusted routes came at the urging of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The ships will now travel 15 miles further south in the Indian Ocean to free up the lanes for blue whales.
Now this might not seem like a big deal but research suggests that this will reduce the likelihood of collision by 95%. And since blue whales have been critically endangered since 1960 after being hunted to near extinction, the lane changes will go a long way in protecting these beautiful animals.
See you next week.