Everything You Need to Know About World Turtle Day

Everything You Need to Know About World Turtle Day

The 23rd of May is an important day for divers, environmentalists and animal activists around the world. It’s World Turtle Day! This special day has been created to raise awareness and respect for turtles and tortoises, encouraging people worldwide to take action and care for their environments. World Turtle Day recognises the struggles turtles are experiencing daily and how they are almost on the edge of extinction due to environmental hazards, pollution, and the hunting and harvesting of their eggs.

So, what better way to raise awareness of turtles than by celebrating World Turtle Day and reminding ourselves that there is more we could be doing to protect these wonderful creatures.

How Do People Celebrate World Turtle Day?

World Turtle Day is celebrated globally in many ways. Some people will dress up as turtles, clean beaches, or raise awareness in the classroom through craft projects and education. It is important you do everything you can in your area to promote the protection of turtles. If there are no immediate activities or initiatives being taken in your area, why not coordinate some activities with local aquariums, pet stores or nature groups to raise awareness for turtles and the protection they need?

However you celebrate World Turtle Day, make sure you do it in style and you understand why these incredible creatures need our support, protection and care.

The Environmental Risks Turtles Face Daily

Although many species of turtle are at risk of extinction, none are so acutely in danger as sea turtles. Just as their name suggests, sea turtles live in the sea and spend most of their time cruising around in the water. However, unlike other turtles they cannot retract their heads or legs into their shell, making them more vulnerable.

Sea turtles suffer numerous threats, but they aren’t necessarily from other fish. The main threats sea turtles face are from humans! We use their eggs, meat, skin and shells for food and making money. All parts of the sea turtle are valuable and therefore, they are frequently victims of poaching and overfishing. What’s more, their safe havens on our beaches are being destroyed by global warming and these turtles are finding it increasingly difficult to find a safe place to rest and lay their eggs.

It is difficult to count just how many turtles have been hit by automobiles in the past few years as they cross roads and beaches to find safe places to nest. Beaches that used to provide them an uninterrupted sanctuary are now heaving with people and are situated close to main roads.

Close to Extinction

Many species of turtles are in danger of becoming extinct due to their rapidly dwindling numbers, inability to find suitable breeding environments, and lack of pollutant-free spaces. In light of this awful wake-up call, May 23rd has been dedicated as World Turtle Day.

Founded in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue, World Turtle Day focuses on raising awareness of the daily troubles turtles face. As the American Tortoise Rescue co-founder, Susan Tellem declared:

“World Turtle Day was started to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures[…]These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and the cruel pet trade.”

She adds that the ultimate goal of World Turtle Day, “is to stop the illegal trade in turtles and tortoises around the world.”

And slowly but surely, by raising awareness and educating people about turtles, we are all playing our part in helping this incredible species thrive and flourish.

Find Out More

If you would like to find out more about turtles, click here. Alternatively, if you would like to find out how our team at Oyster Diving are doing their bit to save the environment and educate others about turtles, click here.

We hope that on the 23rd of May you will remember it’s World Turtle Day and you will do everything you can for turtles around the world! If we all work together, we can make a huge difference. 

Leave a Reply