Punish Poachers for Killing Sea Turtles


Target: Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico

Goal: Give poachers harsh legal sentences for killing baby sea turtles by stealing their eggs.

Hundreds of olive ridley sea turtle eggs are taken by poachers almost immediately after hatching each year from Morro Ayuta beach in Mexico. They are then sold to vendors because the eggs are considered by many to be an aphrodisiac and a delicacy. We need to take action to better ensure these poachers serve an adequate sentence for committing such a heartless crime.

The population of these turtles has decreased by 50 percent since the 1960s. Unfortunately, they may become extinct in the near future, as the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service lists their conservation status as endangered. Poachers have greatly contributed to this steady population decline. However, although a person caught hunting sea turtles may spend up to nine years in prison, it is not guaranteed the person will get the maximum punishment when sentenced. Allowing poachers to serve less lengthy sentences only sends the message that there will likely not be severe consequences for stealing olive ridley sea turtle eggs.

Demand the law be changed to better ensure all offenders will spend at least nine years in prison, rather than possibly only serving either a few months or a few years for taking such callous actions. If poaching laws are not strengthened in the near future, this species of sea turtle may soon die out forever.


Dear President Nieto,

Poachers steal hundreds of olive ridley sea turtle eggs every year from Morro Ayuta Beach in Mexico before selling them to vendors. It is important that harsh sentences are given to poachers who commit this crime in order to relay the message that such actions will not be tolerated.

Olive ridley sea turtle populations have dropped in half since the 1960s. Although poachers have greatly contributed to this population decrease, they are only required to serve up to nine years in prison. By not requiring all offenders to serve at least nine years in prison, a message is being sent that harsh penalties are not always given for committing this particular crime.

I therefore urge you to strengthen the law and to support poachers having to spend at least nine years in prison for stealing the eggs of the olive ridley sea turtle. If people are not given more severe legal penalties for taking such actions, these animals will likely soon become extinct.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Gagnon

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  1. Stan Benton says:

    I signed this petition, as it seems to imply that recently hatched turtles still need their eggs. But I can’t for the life of me know why any creature would need it’s egg after it was hatched. Isn’t the remaining egg simply a thin shell? Perhaps the young turtles use the shells for shelter? It might not hurt for this petition to explain why the hatchlings need those eggs.

  2. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    Using sea turtle eggs as an aphrodisiac is a myth for the under-educated. They make Viagra now.

  3. david belcher says:

    I see no reason why the death penalty can’t be the punishment for poachers . their continued existence could mean the end of a species . and I’m sorry , but the turtles lives are much more important than those of the poachers. until we give out punishments , that as far as I see , that suite the crime nothing will change .

    • I am so with you on this score – the ridiculous sentences meted out are so often just a slap on the wrist for perpetrators. However, there is a great necessity to rid the world of the king pins that drive the demand. Until these unscrupulous, mindless and selfish cretins are dealt with, the senseless murder of endangered and innocent wildlife will continue unabated!

  4. I agree with all of uour comments. I hate. Abusers. Poachers hunters lab workers, bad owners, name it, Im there. Turtles have it tough enough. Toughen laws against poachers. Cut off a hand, that may help!


  6. Something MUST be done about these animal abusers / poachers — These unconscionable & heartbreaking crimes against turtles MUST be stopped! — The police & lawmakers NEED TO step up & crack down on these callous, immoral, merciless idiots — Arrest them & make them pay dearly — we do NOT want repeats of crimes against these beautiful turtles who have every right to their lives! — We need these turtles — the planet needs these turtles — SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR EATING THEM! — There’s much to choose from for your everyday consumption — LEAVE THE TURTLE EGGS ALONE!

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