Importance of Sea Turtles to Humans

Sea turtles have been living on this planet named Earth for more than 100 million years and they have travelled throughout the oceans of the world. They are one of the oldest species living on the earth. Their body structure is so much well designed that they have even survived the extinction which the dinosaurs failed to survive. But now human beings have become the greatest threat for the survival of this mighty creature. We have destroyed the harmony of nature and environment in such a way that sea turtles who have survived great extinctions are now on the brink of getting extinct. We can learn about the present condition of the earth’s climate and environment by observing the present condition of the sea turtles.

Sea turtles are of great economic value. They are the assets of those countries who have them in their territory. Sea beaches are popular tourists spot. Every year lots of people travel throughout the beaches of the world. And the beauty of the sea beaches is its living beings. Without corals, fishes, turtles and other estuarine animals, sea beaches lose its beauty. And to keep the ecosystem of the sea working in a proper way, all living beings should be conserved.

Green sea turtles are usually herbivorous in nature. They eat sea weds and keep them short which helps to maintain the quality of the sea bed. Sea grass also needed to be cut short like lawn grass for its better growth. Sea beds provide the ground for breeding for many valuable sea animals like crustaceans, fish, shellfishes etc. If turtles get extinct, health of the sea bed will be deteriorated and sea grass will decline. As a result, animals living on grass will be lost and this will affect other big animals who live on small herbivorous animals. Eventually whole ecosystem will collapse resulting in the destruction of the living beings of the sea which is the source of beauty of the sea beaches. So tourists would not come to travel sea beaches and the countries whose economies depend on tourism will suffer in the long run.

Sea beaches and dune system can not hold nutrition. So vegetation does not grow well in dunes and in beaches it does not grow at all. Sea turtles nest and lay eggs on beaches. Each turtle lays almost 100 eggs each season. Not every egg would hatch and not each of the hatchlings would be able to come out of the eggs. All these unhatched eggs and hatchlings who do not become successful in coming out of the nest and make the way to the sea are the source of nutrition in the beaches and dunes.

The more the nutrition the more vegetation grows in dunes. And as more vegetation grows, ecosystem of the beaches and dunes works properly. The vegetation also grabs the sands firmly in the beaches and prevents from being eroded. This saves the beauty of the sea beach. As the number of sea turtles is decreasing day by day, nutrition sources of dunes and beaches are also decreasing as a consequence. This will lead to the failure of the whole ecosystem and as a result the beach will lose its appeal to the tourists which will affect the economy of these countries severely.

Sea turtles have historical importance too. They were the symbol of aristocracy and delicacy in the ancient time. In China and Japan tortoise shell were used as a decorative ornament. They used to make it from carapace scutes of tortoise shell. Sea turtle scutes were processed by ancient Greeks and Romans to make components like brush and combs. Aristocrat class people used these tortoise produced components.

Peru’s ancient inhabits Moche used to worship the sea and living beings of the sea. Sea turtles have often been highlighted on their arts.

Mexican people harvest sea turtles for food and boot. In many areas of the world coastal people depend on turtles for the source of protein. Their skin is used for making shoes and leather bags in many areas of the world. They also protect humans from the attack of deadly box jellyfish by eating them.

We can see that the world is becoming a hostile place for sea turtles. It is a clear warning to us that it might become harder for us to survive too. If we learn from the mistakes which we have made and pledge to make things right to save sea turtles from getting extinct, we will be saving ourselves too.