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Conservation and sport help turtles

By Dave Armstrong - 27 Oct 2013 11:59:0 GMT
Conservation and sport help turtles

A rare and critically-endangered hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricata, approaches the camera with all four legs, unlike the released individual in Hawaii; Hawksbill image; Credit: © Shutterstock

While turtles become wrapped in nets and eat our plastic rubbish and sports go on worldwide, there is every reason why sportsmen and sportswomen should be advocates of turtle problems. The golfers here travel the world just like several turtle species and have the opportunity to visit any of their laying beaches while making use of the links course nearby! It's all about awareness, as world champion, Cassandra Kirkland of France, said. "It was really nice coming here, I didn't realize how important turtles are for the environment so I learned a lot, and it's pretty exciting."

The Ladies Tours of LET (European), LAGT (Asian) and the China LPGA were in Hainan for the Ladies Open with the Sea Turtles 911 group. Turtles 911 have a turtle hospital on Hainan Island in China. Qiao Chang Yu, Patcharajutar Kongkrapan and the other players helped to release some injured hawksbill and green turtles, just before they were about to tee off. The luck involved in a game like golf doesn't really match the luck needed as these two turtles face all the hazards they have at sea.

The usefulness of turtles in maintaining reefs and sea grass beds and predating on jellyfish and sponges has often been disregarded. Without them, coral reefs and young fish in particular cannot survive so well under a heavy predation regime. Eggs are still collected in some regions and in Hainan, the traditional hunting of turtles for meat has to be discouraged. Building the hospital as part of a floating village there has a bi-fold purpose.The young and rescued animals can swim in fresh, aerated sea water beneath their cage frames and the people are deeply involved in protection and achieving conservation goals instead of poaching and traditional killing practices.

Frederick Yeh wrote to us about the golfing turtles from the group's site at in the Sea Turtles 911.