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Sunday, January 29, 2023

US government comitted to protect endangered marine turtles.

Story and picture by PRIYAN DE SILVA 

As six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The U.S. government is currently providing technology and capacity-building assistance to other nations  to contribute to the conversation  of sea turtle species

To minimise threat to sea turtles, the United States only imports wild caught shrimp from  shrimp-harvesting nations and economies that have programs to reduce the incidental taking of sea turtles in shrimp trawl fisheries that are comparable to the United State’s section 609 of Public Law 101-162 , or that their particular fishing environments do not pose a threat of the incidental taking of sea turtles.

This year, the US  Department of state has certified 37 nations and one economy, and granted determinations for thirteen fisheries as having adequate measures in place to protect sea turtles while harvesting wild-caught shrimp.  Annual certifications and determinations are based in part on overseas verification visits by a team composed of Department of State and  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries representatives.

The U.S. government also encourages legislation like Section 609 in other nations to prevent the importation of shrimp harvested in a manner harmful to protected sea turtles.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) , among the five sea turtle species that nest in Sri Lanka, Olive Ridley, Loggerhead and Green are classified as endangered, and Leatherback and Hawksbill as critically endangered.

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