Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis: Department of Marine Resources St Kitts and Nevis has been celebrating Sea Turtle Week in honour of World Sea Turtle Day, which is marked on June 16. The Week commenced on June 12 and will be concluded with the observation of the Day.
On June 13, 2023 (Tuesday), the Department of Marine Resources observed Hawksbill Day. While sharing the importance of the species of Sea Turtle, it noted, “Hawksbill sea turtles are vital to the coral reef ecosystems as they eat sponges which can outdo corals.”
While sharing the update regarding the trade through the shells of the turtles, the Department informed, “Did you know that the shell of the Hawksbill turtles is traded and used to make real tortoiseshell products such as bowls, furniture inlay, hair accessories, combs, glasses and jewellery? As a result, this species of turtle is on the brink of extinction.”
It added, “In honour of World Sea Turtle Day on June 16, we encourage you to learn more about sea turtles this week and how you can do your part to help them.”
Earlier, on June 12, the Department of Marine Department of St Kitts and Nevis observed Loggerhead Day. It is interesting to know that these sea turtles are named for their massive jaws, which they use to eat hard-shelled invertebrates like crabs and conchs.
The Department further informed, “Did you know that scientists have identified over 50 species of plants and invertebrates that call the back of a loggerhead home? Pretty SEA-MAZING, isn’t it?”
It also outlined that, unfortunately, one of the biggest threats to sea turtles, especially loggerheads, is getting caught in fishing gear. Turtles that are caught in discarded fishing gear or in commercial gillnets and long lines can become severely injured (e.g., loss of a flipper) or even drown.
World Sea Turtles Day is annually marked on June 16 to raise awareness about the safety and security of sea creatures. The authorities, departments and associations related to marine resources tell the general public about the importance of the creatures.