World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated every year on June 16 to raise awareness about the plight of sea turtles. Did you know that every year, about eight tonnes of plastic are dumped in our oceans? That is extremely hazardous to sea turtles, so much so that six out of eight marine turtle species are on the verge of extinction. There are many other threats to sea turtles, such as encroachment of coastal development on nesting beaches, marine pollutants, accidental drowning on fishing gear, and the international turtle meat trade. Join hands with us to raise awareness about this important issue and save lives.
History of World Sea Turtle Day
World Sea Turtle Day is observed on July 16, the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr, known as the “father of sea turtle biology.” Dr. Carr is well-known for devoting his entire career to the research and conservation of sea turtles. Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on Earth, having remained unchanged for 110 million years. Most information on these creatures has focused on their nesting females and hatchlings, but new research techniques, such as satellite tracking technology, have allowed scientists to gain insights into their lives.
During summers, turtles follow an ancient reproductive ritual, in which the female leaves the sea and crawls to shore to dig a nest in the sand. The female turtle uses her rear flippers to dig the nest hole and then lays about 100 eggs. After laying the eggs, the turtle covers them and camouflages the nest site before returning to the ocean. Nesting turtles may return to the nesting site for laying eggs several times and usually nest every two to three years.
Temperature has a significant impact on the sea turtle sex ratio. Warmer temperatures produce more females, while cooler temperatures are found to produce more males. Eggs hatch after an incubation of two months. The hatching moves towards the sea in the night by using the bright view of the night sky. Artificial lights can distract the hatchlings from finding their way to the ocean.
World Sea Turtle Day timeline
Green turtle populations decline from 91 million to 30,000.
The population of Hawksbill turtles decreases from 11 million to less than 30,000.
The population of loggerheads in the North Pacific declines by about 80%.
Leatherback turtle nests increase from 27 in 1989 to 641 in 2014.
World Sea Turtle Day FAQs
Why is World Sea Turtle Day celebrated?
We celebrate this day every year to raise awareness to save sea turtles from extinction.
What is the difference between a sea turtle and a tortoise?
Tortoises spend most of their lives on land, while sea turtles live only in water and come out just to lay eggs.
How many turtles are there in the world?
The number of turtles was estimated to be around 6.5 million in 2021.
World Sea Turtle Day Activities
Clean the beaches
Turtles can get confused and consider trash as food. They can get caught in plastic loops, and after consuming plastic, they suffocate. So, to celebrate this day, we should help keep our beaches clean.
Join a coastal conservation group
Work together with like-minded people to protect these endangered species. Find out different ways to protect turtle nests and share the information with family and friends.
Research and read up
Many things in our daily routine that can disrupt the life cycle of turtles. Read up and spread the message to people about the ways to save sea turtles and offer healthy alternative practices.
5 Facts About Sea Turtles
Turtles don’t have teeth
Turtles have exceptionally strong upper and lower jaws, which are made of keratin.
Turtle shells are made of bones
Shells have over 50 bones fused, so turtles' shells are just their bones.
The biggest threat is plastic
One out of every two turtles consumes plastic after mistaking it for jellyfish.
Only one in 1,000 turtle's eggs
Littering on the beach is drastically stopping hatchlings from reaching the sea.
They can swim long distances
The female leatherback is recorded to swim nearly 13,000 miles over 647 days.
Why We Love World Sea Turtle Day
This is a day to spread awareness
World Sea Turtle Day is observed to raise awareness of sea turtles. On this day, we join forces to save these magnificent creatures.
World Sea Turtle Day promotes protection for our sea creatures
It is a day of protection and education about sea turtles. This day explains why their protection is critical for all living things.
It encourages us to save lives
By celebrating World Sea Turtle Day and by practicing in the community's efforts to make life better for sea turtles, we save lives. It is honorable work and can be accomplished only by a collective effort.
World Sea Turtle Day dates