Sea turtle consumption hazardous to your health

Sea turtles are frequently on the menu of coastal communities in countries where protein is a valuable commodity. Unfortunately, not only should sea turtle consumption be discouraged because all 7 sea turtle species are either critically endangered, endangered, or threatened, it should also be discouraged because the consumption of sea turtles may pose health risks to humans. The journal EcoHealth published an article in 2006 (Aguirre, A. A. et al. 2006. Hazards associated with the consumption of sea turtle meat and eggs: a review for health care workers and the general public. EcoHealth 3: 141–153) describing the dangers of consuming sea turtles. In its description of the article, the journal states:


In some Latin American countries, there are cautionary horror tales told of wedding guests who die shortly after consuming the flesh of sea turtles. It turns out these tales are probably based on actual events, as Aguirre et al. detail the potentially deleterious and often lethal dangers of consumption of marine turtles and their eggs in their extensive review. Not only bacteria and parasites may be found in these bioaccumulating cheloniids, but also dangerously high levels of heavy metals and toxins. The authors urge for a coordinated, global educative effort to prohibit further human health hazards—which may, felicitously, aid in conservation of these ancient animals. Continue reading

Whales in hot water?

Whales in hot waterThis report The Impact of a Changing Climate on Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises: A Call for Action published by the WWF Global Species Programme and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society highlights the growing impacts of climate change on cetaceans. They range from changes in sea temperature and the freshening of the seawater because of the melting of ice and increased rainfalls, to sea level rise, loss of icy polar habitats and the decline of krill populations, in key areas. Continue reading

397 Dead Sea Turtles Seized

Poaching of endangered sea turtles is a practice that’s all too common. This and other stories are published on the Turtle Foundation’s News Page and elsewhere all too frequently.

When you consider that ALL seven species of sea turtles are in danger of extinction due to illegal poaching, bycatch, and threats to their nesting grounds – stories like these are even more sobering. None of these sea turtle species can sustain catches like these. The 397 dead turtles found on this boat were likely headed to China to be used for medicinal purposes – purposes that have no scientifically proven efficacy.

If the people of China and other countries that ignore the CITES treaty continue to consume turtles (and sharks) at this rate, it will be a very short time before these magnificent creatures no longer exist.


In Kalimantan, Indonesia, authorities discovered and stopped a Chinese boat with 397 sea turtles aboard. All turtles were dead – they were treated with formalin and stuffed!

On the boat were:

And it happens all the time. Just in March 2007 Chinese poachers were caught with nearly 300 green and hawksbill sea turtles off the coast of Malaysia.

For further information and other poaching stories visit:

Dr. Frank Zindel

Encyclopedia of Life to be launched online

Encyclopedia of Life was announced today, a highly ambitious and exciting project designed to document the 1.8 million named species of animals, plants, and other forms of life on Earth with individual species homepages from aardvarks to zinnias. The EOL will be headquartered in Washington and envisions a computer-based roster of all life on Earth, which will give field scientists an unprecedented way to determine whether they have encountered a new species. Continue reading

Reduce greenhouse gases now

Technology called available

By Beth Daley, Globe Staff | May 5, 2007

Climate Change in the US, watch it online today.Technologies are available to significantly reduce greenhouse gases but nations must adopt them far more aggressively to avert the worst consequences of global warming, the leading scientific authority on climate change said yesterday.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said temperature increases that began more than a century ago could be capped at 3.6 degrees if nations level greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade and then reduce them between 50 percent and 85 percent by 2050. Continue reading