Threats to Africa's Marine Turtles

Illegal wildlife trade items seized at customs - Marine turtles, Giant clam etc rel=
Illegal wildlife trade items seized at customs - Marine turtles, Giant clam etc
© WWF-Canon / Wil LUIIJF

Threats - both natural and man made

Increasingly, human activities are also threatening marine turtles, both directly (deliberate or incidental catch, egg collection, pollution), and indirectly (destruction or degradation of nesting and foraging habitats).
Mitigating actions are urgently required to ensure their survival in Africa. Turtles are particularly vulnerable on shore and in coastal waters, where they are brought into close proximity with coastal dwellers, this in addition to the threat posed by high seas fisheries.

All 5 species of marine turtles found in African waters are categorised on the IUCN Red List as endangered or critically endangered . The major issues for marine turtle conservation in Africa and Madagascar are: -

  • Loss and degradation of nesting, inter-nesting, and foraging habitats
  • Overexploitation of eggs, meat, carapaces, and other products
  • Incidental capture by trawlers, gillnets, and other fishing gears
  • Limited capacity to manage turtle populations

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