After seeing some dramatic photos from a smuggling ring, I contemplate how we can work together to stop the atrocities from happening in the first place.
The other day I saw a picture from the Nakawe Project on Instagram that showed more than 50 dead Hawksbill Turtles that had been confiscated from a smuggling ring in China. When I first saw the picture, it was pretty graphic. The image showed the heads separated from the bodies of these Hawksbill Turtles. Each one disgusted and angered me. I felt helpless because I didn’t know what I could do about it. I was glad the smugglers had been caught, and that the Hawksbill Turtles had been confiscated. But the damage had already been done; these endangered turtles and 50 of them are now dead.
I not only feel for the turtles. But I also feel for the conservation movement of all the people who get together and work so hard and dedicate their lives to conserving and protecting this species. Along with the 6 other sea turtle species. Some of them risk their lives, and some make complete life changes in order to protect these turtles. Now 50 of them are dead. I don’t know where they came from. I don’t even have the entire news story. All I saw was a picture of these smuggled and decapitated sea turtles that had been confiscated.
It got me thinking…HOW do we stop this from happening? What do we need to know? We can educate. We can raise awareness. But in this particular instance, we have to ask where these Hawksbill Turtles even came from! Where were they shipped from? How did they get there? What countries did they stop in? What company shipped them? Was it legit? These are the questions that went through my head. As someone who is a conservation biologist, and a marine ecologist, I really started to think about how we can prevent this. I can talk to you through the podcast, through blog posts (like I am right now), and make you aware of what happens. But how do we really stop this hunt, this poaching, from happening?
I don’t have all the answers. But in this episode of the podcast I go through ways that I think we can help, and they answer the questions I posed above. So listen to the podcast and let me know if I missed something, or if there’s another way to go about stopping this hunt from happening.
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