Sea Turtle Conservancy applauds the recent passage of H.R. 1454, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2009, by the U.S. Congress. Like the enormously popular Breast Cancer Research Semipostal Stamp, which has raised millions of dollars for cancer research, a small premium has been added to the cost of a regular first class stamp. The monies raised by the premium will be directed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support conservation programs for marine turtles, tigers, rhinos, great apes, and elephants.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy thanks U.S. Representatives Henry Brown (R-South Carolina), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, for introducing this legislation and Subcommittee Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), an original co-sponsor of the bill, for making it a reality.
Eighty-four Democrats and 70 Republicans cosponsored H.R. 1454 in the House of Representatives. “The success of this bill demonstrates the importance of bipartisan support for conservation and the value Members of Congress and their constituents place on the world's imperiled species,” stated Marydele Donnelly, STC's Director of International Policy.
The Semipostal stamp for conservation will raise millions of dollars for conservation without any cost to taxpayers at a time when threats are increasing and global resources for imperiled species are shrinking. Continued Donnelly, “As the United States is faced with budget shortfalls, creative legislation like H.R. 1454 is enormously appealing, a situation in which all win.”
During the last year, the Multinational Species Coalition, a group of 31 organizations with more than 20 million members representing conservationists, sportsmen, veterinarians and others, has worked to generate support for H.R. 1454. Through outreach to the Congress and the administration, the Sea Turtle Conservancy is proud of the important role it played in passage of this legislation.
The Bahamas - The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources hereby announces that the Fisheries Regulations governing marine turtles have been amended to give full protection to all marine turtles found in Bahamian waters by prohibiting the harvesting, possession, purchase and sale of turtles, their parts and eggs. The new regulations also prohibits the molestation of marine turtle nests. The regulations will come into effect on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009.
The Government has engaged in intensive and extensive consultations with the public over the issue of the ban on the harvesting and sale of marine turtles for the past twelve months. The commitment to the conservation and preservation of these species while in Bahamian waters has been demonstrated by the introduction of protective measures and safeguards over the past two decades, starting with the actions taken to safeguard the hawksbill turtle in 1986.
Facing wind and waves that could sink the Navy’s sturdiest ships, flipper-bearing swimmers are racing through the oncoming path of Category 3 Hurricane Bill, with more storms on the horizon. Fans of the annual Tour de Turtles swimming marathon are following the race anxiously online to see how the storms will affect their favorite competitors.
Being sea turtles, the racers in this event are ably equipped to survive the gauntlet of storms, but scientists with Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC), who are tracking the turtles by satellite, are excited at the opportunity to learn more about how endangered sea turtles are able to navigate through major ocean storms during their migrations.
Uncovering the mysteries of sea turtle migration has been a focus of the CCC for five decades. The Florida-based nonprofit group, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, created the Tour de Turtles to allow anyone with Internet access to follow along as researchers document the annual migrations of sea turtles that nest in Florida and elsewhere in the Caribbean.
This year’s Tour de Turtles is tracking four different turtle species as they unknowingly compete to see which swimmer can complete a turtle version of a marathon (26.2 hundred kilometers). The giant leatherbacks seem to have an unfair advantage given their long-range migrations from the Caribbean to the North Atlantic, but the loggerheads and green turtles are giving them a run for their money. A looming major hurricane could make the race even more interesting.
Naya and Luna, two endangered leatherback turtles, are migrating through the Atlantic right now and appear to be on a collision course with the potentially dangerous Hurricane Bill. After being fitted with small satellite transmitters while nesting on the Caribbean coast of Panama in late June, Naya and Luna sprinted through the Caribbean and into the Atlantic—likely in search of their favorite meal, jellyfish. Lulu, a loggerhead turtle released in Florida, is hugging the northeast coast of the U.S. and could be in for a wild ride as Bill spins closer.
“Learning where they travel and how they adapt to changing conditions, such as hurricanes, will help us better protect sea turtles,” said David Godfrey, executive director of Caribbean Conservation Corporation. “While we don’t really expect the storms to harm the turtles, it will be very interesting to see what impact they might have on the turtles’ migrations or behavior.”
In reality, human-related activities such as longline fishing and marine pollution pose far greater risks to sea turtles. One of the goals of the Tour de Turtles is to raise public interest in sea turtles and the gauntlet of threats they face every day in the ocean.
To track Naya, Luna, Lulu and the other racers as they migrate through the path of the storm, visit the Tour de Turtles website at www.tourdeturtles.org.
CCC joined other conservation groups today to issue a notice of intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service does not act to stop bottom longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. This comes after observer data revealed 1,000 threatened and endangered sea turtles were caught between July 2006 and the end of 2007.
Avaaz - The plan to kill
and work in the last
place on Earth where
rhinos, elephants, and
tigers still roam
together -- but it'll be
bulldozed to bits ...
The corporate group
Cargill is selling palm
oil derived from the
destruction of the
Sumatran rainforest, home
of the critically
the fires in the