Save Hawksbill Sea Turtles from Extinction

Target: Azzedine Downes, CEO International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Goal: Help produce practical solutions with governments to protect the hawksbill sea turtle while maintaining the fishing industry.

The hawksbill sea turtle has been placed on the critically endangered list. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles are accidentally killed every year. Hawksbill turtles are mainly found in coral reefs of tropical waters. They feed on sponges and jellyfish, help to keep the coral reefs and seagrass beds healthy, and are very important to the underwater ecosystem. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, factors that threaten the existence of this species include pollution, coastal development, loss of nesting and feeding habits, excessive egg collection, fishery-related mortality and most of all, wildlife trade.

Many of the people that live around the natural habitat of these sea turtles depend upon the fishing trade for their livelihood. As fishermen drop nets and hooks, hawksbills get caught in them, cannot come up for air and drown. The WWF and other conservationists are working on developing tools that can allow the fishing industry to continue production and protect the endangered sea turtle. Two examples are LED lights on nets and circular hooks and are funded in part by the WWF. Providing more funds from the surrounding governments to innovative efforts such as these could help to reduce incidents of accidental killings of the hawksbill sea turtle. The hawksbill is a vital component to the overall ecosystem of the ocean, contributes to tourism, and is the responsibility of world citizens. Sign this petition to demand that more be done to protect this species


Dear Mr. Downes,

We would like to thank you for your leadership and the efforts of the IFAW in its collaborations to protect endangered species and their habitats. The balance between the needs of government, the people, trade, business and the protection of various species is complex and requires creativity. We ask that special attention be directed to the preservation of the hawksbill sea turtle, which is on the critically endangered list. Some factors that contribute to the endangerment of this species are the fishing industry and the harvest of eggs. Hundreds of thousands of these sea turtles die every year due to accidentally being caught in fishing nets and getting hooked on fishing hooks.

There have been conscious efforts made to help protect the habitats of these sea turtles, but it is not enough. An increase in funding is needed to help innovation projects that could increase protection of these turtles and allow the fishing industry to continue production. An example includes adding LED lights to the netting, since sea turtles see light spectrums that other fish do not and swim away from that light. Standardizing the use of circular hooks over the traditional J-shaped hooks is another example. These hooks make it more difficult for sea turtles to get caught by them. Contributing funds to the innovation of products such as these, along with government incentives, can help to stimulate production and provide practical solutions that have the potential to drastically and positively impact the survival of the hawksbill sea turtle. Please do all you can to protect this species.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Doug Helton, NOAA

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  1. Linda Hilty-Tuttle says:

    We should save ALL animals from extinction! They are here as part of our ecology and planet environment and each surely serve a purpose in their own way!!

  2. NO animal has come back from extinction. We cannot let the hawksbill go extinct. Why can’t fishermen despose of their nets on land?

  3. KatWrangler WELCH says:

    “Whatever befalls the Earth – befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life – he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
    ~Chief Seattle 1854

    full speech:


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