Keep yourself and others educated about fisheries. Vote for government officials who are pro-environment and who are dedicated to contributing to the betterment of the ocean and its habitats.
Educate yourself on the most ocean-sustainable options available. Resources such as Seafood Watch and certification programs such as the Marine Stewardship Council are available to help educate you on the impact of the seafood that you eat.
Educate family, friends, peers, and teachers on the issue of seafood! Encourage them to base their diets on sustainable seafood. Discuss the impacts of serving sustainable seafood at restaurants and grocery stores with staff members. Team up with local organizations and small businesses to spread community awareness on the importance of maintaining a sustainable living. Create an environmental club at your local high school whose goal is to educate youth on the effects of environmental pollution on ocean wildlife.
Sea turtles are affected by human waste. Disposable forks and other plastics are often carelessly thrown into the ocean. Every year, innocent sea turtles eat the plastic or get caught and trapped in the disposable remains resulting in their death. Instead of relying on disposable plastics, trade out your plastic bottles and plastic bags for reusable cloth bags and reusable metal bottles. Take advantage of other reusable products, such as metal utensils.
Consider a product’s life span. Where does the company get its raw materials to make its merchandise? What happens to the product after the lifespan ends? What happens to the product’s lifespan after it’s lifespan is over? Are the materials used to make the product recyclable?
Take part in a cleanup. Oftentimes, disposable waste, such as plastics, are carried off to the ocean by strong winds or river currents. Organize or participate in local communities or international communities (i.e. the International Coastal Cleanup) that take the initiative to pick up trash and disposable plastics that may disturb the natural habitat of sea turtles.
The next time you vacation at the beach, make sure that the resort or hotel that you are staying at has taken necessary precautions to ensure a longer lifespan for the sea turtles. Make sure that they are following government guidelines to protect natural wildlife and be supportive of the addition of a beach monitoring program. If your local beach doesn’t have one, start one!
Respect the rights of wildlife.
Sea turtles are harvested in part (i.e. the shells) or in whole for profit, both legally and illegally. The harvesting and trading of international sea turtle products is illegal, and yet a common crime that results in the potential extinction of this unique species, particularly hawksbills.
Tourist attractions, such as jewelry and trinkets, are often made from tortoise shells and are sold throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia. There are no sustainable products made from tortoise shells. Purchase guides that help you to recognize items made from tortoise shells such as this one and then report these items and their manufacturers to websites such as this one.
Rising temperatures and ocean levels that result from global warming negatively affect sea turtles’ habitats, such as nesting beaches and coral reefs. You can make an impact by making efforts to reduce your carbon footprint, your overall actions as an individual that either contribute or mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Donate to local and global sea turtle conservation efforts, through programs such as SWOT (The State of the World’s Sea Turtles). Educate yourself on research efforts taken to preserve sea turtles and continue to take action towards preserving the sea turtles!