The Hawksbill Sea Turtles are threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. They are known for their distinctive patterned colored shells that make them highly valuable and commonly sold as tortoise shells in Asian markets. They are highly sought after for their unique carapace plates that are made into tortoiseshell items such as the jewelry we wear.
Hawksbill turtles play a vital role in the marine ecosystem because they maintain the balance of marine life in the coral reefs. They help preserve the health of the coral reefs as they feed on sponges and anemones to provide a safe home for the reef fish to live in.
In May of 2007, Indonesian customs officials discovered 296 Hawksbill sea turtles that had been killed and preserved aboard a Chinese fishing vessel. The following year, a Vietnamese boat was detained by Filipino gunboats near the island of Cabaluan for capturing and killing over one hundred Hawksbill turtles. These are just a few of the countless horrific incidents taken place over the years.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, “scientists estimate that hawksbill populations have declined more than 80 percent during the last century.” If this continues, the Hawksbill turtles will be extinct and the marine ecosystem will become unbalanced.
We urge for the support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to help raise awareness and to the Association of Southern Asian Nations’ Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) to take action and enforce the laws to protect the Hawksbill turtles overseas.
Please sign and share the petition to help save the Hawksbill sea turtles. Together, we can be their voice to stand up and protect them.