Target: Nguyen Minh Quang, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam
Goal: Applaud seizure of over 1,000 illegally captured endangered sea turtles
One thousand endangered sea turtles were recently seized from an illegal animal trading ring by environmental police in Vietnam. The turtles were destined for export to China where they would be sold on the black market. The bust made history as the largest haul of endangered marine turtles ever stopped in Vietnam. The traders are now under investigation for capturing and killing protected species.
Sea turtles are highly sought after in China for their meat, which is considered a delicacy and often used to make soup. Sea turtle bones are ground up and eaten in Chinese medicine as a way to promote longevity. Their shells are used to create expensive jewelry and trinkets, and their eggs are served in upscale dinners for the Chinese elite. In China, one sea turtle can fetch upwards of $3,000 at a market.
The illegal import of sea turtles has increased in past years as poachers have already depleted most sea turtle populations around the Chinese mainland. Under Vietnamese law, each poacher could face up to three years in prison for killing endangered animals. Despite this, the number of illegal animal traders found hunting endangered turtles in Vietnamese waters has soared in recent years.
Green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtles are all native to Vietnam waters. All of these species are considered endangered or critically endangered in many parts of the world. Without protection from governments and conservation agencies, these turtles could be extinct within decades. Sign the petition below to thank Vietnam’s environmental authorities for apprehending and investigating this illegal poaching ring.
Dear Mr. Quang,
Vietnamese environmental police recently seized 1,000 sea turtles from an illegal poaching ring in the country’s most fruitful raid on the illegal animal trade. The turtles were destined for China, where a single turtle is sold for $3,000 in marketplaces. Their meat and eggs are considered a delicacy, while their bones are used in alternative medicine.
The five species of sea turtle native to Vietnam are considered endangered or critically endangered in much of the world, and are at risk of becoming extinct without protection from conservators. We, the undersigned, applaud the successful seizure of illegally captured turtles, and urge you to prosecute the offenders to the full extent of the law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Omegadino via Creative Commons