Overlap in supervision allows sea turtles to slip through the cracks
Ask any number of surfers, divers, and ocean-goers of all stripes what one of their favorite ocean critters is, and chances are a good percentage of them will mention sea turtles.
And who can blame them? Sea turtles are easygoing in nature, and no one can deny that people are drawn to them more so than some of the other creatures swimming down there.
However, recent reports show that sea turtle populations — the loggerhead in particular — are on the decline. Most people think of sea turtles and are reminded of their cuteness without ever knowing that all six species of sea turtles swimming in U.S. waters are listed as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Sea turtles are tricky animals, though, since they nest on land but live in the ocean. Two separate government entities are responsible for monitoring sea turtles. The overlap leaves gaps, and sea turtles are slipping through the cracks.
In a perfect world, more money would go toward sea turtle research, population assessments, and observers monitoring fishing fleets. In addition, the two government entities responsible for turtles would work together to increase protections for sea turtles nesting beaches, migratory routes, and foraging areas.