PHILIPSBURG:— The St. Maarten Nature Foundation would like to remind the community of St. Maarten that Sea Turtle Nesting Season is once again here. Each year between April and November, female sea turtles return to lay their eggs on the major nesting beaches of Simpson Bay, Guana Bay, and Gibbs Bay and other beaches on the island. There are three sea turtles which nest on St. Maarten beaches, including the Green Sea Turtle and the largest sea turtle species, the Leatherback.
“Sea turtles have existed for well over 180 million years, even before the dinosaurs. St. Maarten is one of the few places in the region that has a nesting population of sea turtles, so we should do all that we can to protect their nesting areas,” commented Tadzio Bervoets of the Nature Foundation.
Sea turtle population numbers have plummeted to dangerously low numbers throughout the past century due to human impacts, bringing many species close to extinction and causing them to be listed as critically endangered. In order to reverse this trend, all sea turtle species are now protected by international laws and treaties as well as local laws. Based on ARTICLE 16 and 17 of the Nature Conservation Ordinance St. Maarten it is illegal to kill, wound, capture or pick up sea turtles. It is also illegal to directly or indirectly disturb their environment resulting in a physical threat or damage or to commit other acts which result in disturbance of the animal. It is also forbidden to disturb, damage or destroy sea turtle nests, lairs, or breeding places. Also, it is forbidden to pick-up or to destroy the eggs of any species of sea turtle.
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