5 things sea turtles want you to know about them



Tue, 22 Aug 2017 - 07:39 GMT


Tue, 22 Aug 2017 - 07:39 GMT

Sea Turtle - Mostafa Hosny

Sea Turtle - Mostafa Hosny

CAIRO - 22 August 2017: Sea turtles live in all oceans and nest on many beaches; they migrate for long distances to feed, often across entire seas and oceans.

“Sea turtles are endangered worldwide, but they are illegally traded here in Egypt,” Mai Gawad, the founder of the Alexandria Turtle and Wildlife Rescue Team, told Egypt Today.

Sea Turtle - Mostafa Hosny

“Although the right procedure is to notify the Ministry of Environment to confiscate sea turtles, sometimes we are short of time, and we need to save the sea turtle before being slaughtered and sold, so we have to buy it to release it back in sea,” she said.

Here are five things a sea turtle would want us to know about it:

1- The sea turtle is a reptile of the order of Testudines. It has strong, sharp teeth, and its body is enveloped in a shell composed of bone plates, bound by ribs and vertebrae, and covered in horns. Its main diet is jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, sponges, snails, algae and other sea creatures.

2- Sea turtles are considered endangered animals, and, to protect them from extinction, Egypt has ratified all international conventions that prohibit hunting them, such as the CITES Convention of 1975, which prohibits the trade of endangered animals in compliance with Environment Law No. 4 of 1994.

3- There are seven species of sea turtles, five of which near the Egyptian coasts of the Red and Mediterranean seas, and are present in all the beaches of the world, except in the poles. All kinds of sea turtles are endangered, but with varying degrees, and they are known to have been around for more than 100 million years — during the Cretaceous period.

Sea Turtle - Mostafa Abdel-Atti

4- One of the main causes of this creature being endangered is the high age of mating, which begins when the female reaches 30 years, and it is not possible for different species of the turtle to mate. This is in addition to the risks humans or other animals pose to the eggs that the mother sea turtle lays on the beach or to any hatchlings.

5- The penalty for slaughtering or trafficking the sea turtle in the Egyptian law is a three-year imprisonment and a fine of LE 5,000-50,000 ($282-2820), in addition to confiscating the animals and releasing them in their natural environment.



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