JUL 07, 2017 8:53 AM PDT

Philippine Police Seize 70 Hawksbill Sea Turtles From Poachers

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

It was only yesterday that over $9 million worth of ivory was seized by authorities in Hong Kong, but today, news has surfaced that as many as 70 critically-endangered hawksbill sea turtles have been seized from a duo of smugglers by authorities in The Philippines.

Bagged hawksbill sea turtle carcasses are counted and confiscated following routine patrol in The Philippines.

Image Credit: Frederic Cayao/Philippines National Police/Facebook

While ivory is traded for medicinal purposes and status symbols in various Asian countries, hawksbill sea turtle shells are used in various cosmetics, such as jewelry and other bodily ornaments, which are also considered status symbols.

Related: Here's why researchers think turtles have shells

The critically-endangered status is just one step above extinct, and unfortunately, this means the poached animals have dealt quite an incredible blow to the remaining population.

Those found carrying the 70 hawksbill sea turtles are in some deep trouble. The illegal possession of a critically-endangered species (even worse, bulk amounts of dead critically-endangered species), is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and with a hefty fine of nearly $100,000.

Given that each turtle is worth about $69, this means the boat was carrying over $4,800 worth of contraband, a relatively insignificant amount given the fines that the smugglers now face.

Related: Turtle gets 1,000 coins surgically-removed from stomach

Police came across the stash when they intercepted a boat during a routine patrol. Each of the hawksbill sea turtles was individually packaged and vacuum-packed inside of transparent plastic bags.

The source of the hawksbill sea turtles is still unknown, but authorities are convinced that they came from poachers in China, which is the case with a whole host of targeted animal species.

The region where the hawksbill sea turtles stash was discovered is reportedly a hotspot for illegal animal trade, so authorities just happened to be in the right place, at the right time to nab these law-breakers.

Unfortunately, it's not humanly possible to patrol every square foot of wild waters 24/7, so poaching activies like these are unlikely ot stop any time soon.

Source: Phys.org, WWF

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 16, 2020
These Crabs Decorate Themselves to Avoid Being Eaten
The animal world is chock-full of critters that do seemingly odd or unusual things. The decorator crab is one such examp ...
MAR 30, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 30, 2020
Packs of Humboldt Squid Rise From the Deep to Feed
Deep-sea dwellers are among some of the most intriguing marine creatures in the world, partly because it isn’t ver ...
APR 17, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 17, 2020
A Brief History: The Search for the Perfect High
With cannabis coming in closely behind alcohol as the most widely used recreational drug in the United States, researche ...
APR 24, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 24, 2020
Study Shows Marijuana Withdrawal is Real
Whether or not an addiction to marijuana is a risk of the drug has been widely debated, with the general population typi ...
MAY 14, 2020
Microbiology
MAY 14, 2020
Cats Can Get Infected by SARS-CoV-2 and Transmit It to Other Cats
New research reported in the New England Journal of Medicine has indicated that domestic cats can easily be infected wit ...
MAY 15, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 15, 2020
How breathable are our changing oceans?
A study from researchers at the University of Washington examines the breathability of the California Current, the cool, ...
Loading Comments...