Getting Nauti With Sea Turtle Hatchlings and Conservation
It’s no secret we here at Getting Nauti love the ocean. That love extends to marine life and, as you may have noticed, we have a affinity for sea turtles.
Well, we are about to expand upon our love for this amazing creature with some new custom, hand-made art work.
We are proud to introduce our new hand-crafted “Hatchling Sea Turtle”. These amazing pieces, individually made for Getting Nauti, perfectly capture the moment a sea turtle hatchling emerges from its shell; a wonder of nature that is as old as that of the dinosaurs of the late Jurassic period.
The sea turtle is truly a wonder given that its delicate entry into this world has survived for so many—that is, about 150 million—years. “Delicate” because, like most babies in the animal world, a baby sea turtle is small and has no defenses against predators. And when we say, “no defenses,” we mean, none. The shell isn’t yet hard, they’re relatively slow moving, and Mom and Dad don’t stick around to help with the defense.
In short, when a clutch of sea turtles hatches, it’s like offering up a big platter of hors d’oeuvres to everyone in the parking lot of a tailgate party. When those baby sea turtles emerge from the sand it is beach buffet time for a host of predators, including sea birds, racoons, foxes, weasels, crabs, and whatever fish may be swimming along the shoreline. And that is, if the eggs survive pre-hatch predation common from raccoons, flooding from storm surges, and other perils.
Biologists estimate that the one-year survival rate of non-human-assisted sea turtle hatchlings is about one to two percent. Somehow and some way, one or two of those babies manages to escape that initial beachside buffet table and make it to deeper water. But even then, the baby sea turtles remain vulnerable and only survive by hiding among seaweed while they swim and use ocean currents to make it to their distinct species’ historic feeding grounds.
While adult sea turtles have few natural predators—such as sharks and salt water crocodiles—mankind has proven to be the sea turtle’s biggest threat. Sea turtles are generally not considered a commercial fishery anywhere in the world; however, fisherman in many coastal communities worldwide—especially in Central America and Asia—will catch and eat turtles and seek out their eggs. Some species, such as the critically endangered Hawksbill, are also sought by poachers who can sell their colorful shells at high prices on the black market.
A bigger problem, though, has always been that sea turtles are susceptible to being caught as bycatch by commercial long-line and trawling operations. And once hooked by a long-line or trapped in a net, most turtles drown. Conservationists believe that up to 400,000 sea turtles are accidentally killed, injured, or captured annually as commercial bycatch. Shrimp Trawlers are believed to be responsible for about 150,000 annual global deaths, but in the U.S., mandated Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) have helped reduce mortality in American waters. Now, if we could only get TED use mandated around the world with all trawling.
A rapidly growing threat to sea turtles is plastic debris, with turtles prone to eating plastic bags and balloons, which they mistake for jellyfish, a prime sea turtle food item. Sea turtles also get entangled in monofilament line and discarded netting materials. Oil spills and other forms of water pollution are also causing mortality and health problems for sea turtle populations, and coastal development is having a significant impact on sea turtle nesting.
All in all, combine these threats to adult sea turtle populations with the high natural mortality of baby sea turtles and it’s a wonder that there are any sea turtles alive today.
If you love sea turtles as much as we do, consider joining the Sea Turtle Conservancy, which has been researching and trying to protect the seven species of the world’s sea turtles since 1959. And display your love with one of these beautiful Hatchling Sea Turtles, exclusively from Getting Nauti.
Sea Turtle Conservancy: https://conserveturtles.org/