Community Messages & Key Facts
- Sea Turtles (Chelonioidea) are reptiles found in all the world's oceans except the Arctic Ocean.
- Sea Turtles play key roles in the two ecosystems that are critical to them as well as to humans - 1) the oceans and 2) beaches/dumes
- They can live up to 189 years
- If sea turtles were to become extinct, the negative impact on beaches and the oceans would potentially be significant
- Some species travel between oceans like the Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles.
- There are 7 types of sea turtles: 1) KEMP'S RIDLEY, 2) FLATBACK, 3) GREEN, 4) OLIVE RIDLEY, 5) LOGGERHEAD, 6) HAWKSBILL AND 7) LEATHERBACK.
- All but the Leatherback are in the family of Chelonioidea;
- Leatherbacks belongs to the family of Dermochelyidae and is only member
- They are highly sensitive to the Earth's magnetic field and use it to navigate
- Papua New Guinea is the last remaining nesting site for the endangered Pacific Leatherback Turtles.
- Scientists predict that Pacific Leatherbacks Turtles could be extinct in 20 years time, at the current harvest rate (by-catch)
- Based on community testimony we know that the population has decreased since the 1990s
- Tri-national MOU was signed between PNG, Solomon Islands and Indonesia in August 2006 to protect Leatherback Turtles
- Leatherback turles travel at the distance of 12,774 miles 20,558 km across the Pacific the longest recorded migration of any sea vertebrates
- Less than 5,000 nesting leatherbacks exist in the Pacific Ocean today and that is a 95 percent drop from 1980
- They are the deepest diving sea turtles on earth
- They weigh more than 92 bags of 10kg rice or 916 kilograms
- They can reach the size of a cab or 270 cm (2.7 meters)
- Leatherback turtles have been in existence for more than 100 million years
- Marine Debris is affecting reproduction and nesting behaviors (plastic waste is lethal to leatherbacks, plastic bags)
- US dumping debris in our ocean is effecting our resources
- Sea-bed mining and dumping of terrestrial slurry is potentially harmful to the habitat and migratory routes (plumes of mining may harm everything in the ocean and humans)
- Another threat is poaching
- Unintentional capture and drowning by commercial fishing boats (especially shrimp trawlers)
- Commercial developments
- Climate change potential for raising sea-levels which are eroding the nesting sites and diverting the turtles from traditional sites and moving them to other sites
- Fisheries/overfishing using longline and gillnets
Created by Wenceslaus Magun of P.O. Box 1312, Port Moresby NCD, PNG. PH: +675 719 59665 or + 675 323 2632
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org /Website: www.seaturtles.org