Over 42,000 turtles are legally killed each year
, 80% of them green turtles (Chelonia mydas
), a study suggests.
Ten countries account for more than 90% of the catch, with Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua and Australia taking almost three-quarters between them. Legal take of turtles is comparable to estimates of by-catch.
Widespread commercial catch of turtles has contributed significantly to their decline.
The first place to protect turtles was Bermuda, as early as 1620. Although 42,000 seems an enormous number now, in the 60s Mexico alone was catching over 380,000 a year.
As well as 37,339 green turtles, an estimated 3456 hawksbill turtles, 1051 loggerhead turtles, 263 olive ridley and 62 leatherback turtles are taken each year.
You can read the original research article at http://www.seaturtle.org/PDF/HumberF_2014_DiversityDistrib.pdf
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson #turtle #australia