ASIA DIVE EXPO
(ADEX 2015, 2019 SPEAKER) Of the seven extant sea turtle species, three (green, Kemp’s ridley and hawksbill) are listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered, three (loggerhead, olive ridley and leatherback) are listed as Vulnerable, and the last one, the flatback turtle, is considered Vulnerable in its native Australia. Sea turtles, which belong to the superfamily Chelonioidea, face a large number of threats, nearly all of which are anthropogenic in origin. Degradation of nesting beach habitats and marine habitats, pollution, entanglement in nets, bycatch in commercial fisheries, and human consumption of eggs, meat and other products impact all sea turtles to varying degrees. Global warming also has the potential to impact the marine ecosystems on which turtles rely, while the sex ratio of embryos could also be impacted given the connection to incubation temperatures of turtle eggs.
Every three to four years, green turtles feeding on the coast of Brazil and Recife Island migrate to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic to mate in the water and lay eggs on the beaches. After a hazardous journey of almost 3,800 kilometres, the turtles arrive exhausted. Males wait in the shallows and take turns mating with hundreds of females. At night, the females come ashore to lay their eggs – a spectacular sight.