In Kalimantan, Indonesia, one of the world’s premier Turtle nestling habitats, the age-old creatures, my favorite animal, were making a comeback. Years of diligent work by local and international NGOs in cooperation with fisherman and Government were having an impact.
The Turtles were coming back!
Then, suddenly, their numbers began falling again. And activists couldn’t figure out why. They were doing everything right – using new technology to ensure fish nets don’t accidentally capture Turtles, community monitoring of hatch sites, strict control of trade.
Taiwan coastguards seized more than 2,500 protected turtles bound for dinner plates in China, officials said Sunday, calling it the biggest smuggling case of its kind they had ever seen.
Coastguards discovered the 2,626 rare turtles — 1,180 Asian yellow pond turtles and 1,446 yellow-lined box turtles — in a container on board a vessel in Kaohsiung, a port in the south of Taiwan, on Saturday.
These Turtles are being stolen from the waters of nearby Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, all countries with stunning biodiversity. That is why Kalimantan was seeing such a drop in Turtle counts, despite years of hard work to protect Turtles.
This can’t go on. Sign this petition and call on the Chinese Government to enforce global laws on its fishermen, so that they cannot cross into international waters and hunt Turtles. Hundreds are already calling, but we need more. Way More. To ensure that China feels global pressure and listens.
Otherwise, its only a matter of time before another illegal boat is found with hundreds of endangered Turtles.