Once-abundant green sea turtles now in danger of extinction - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Once-abundant green sea turtles now in danger of extinction

Posted: Updated:

According to a 2012 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are eleven green sea turtle distinct population segments (DPS), all of which are either threatened or endangered. One of these, the Central West Pacific DPS, is found only in Guam and a few other Pacific nations.

While currently listed as threatened, NOAA fishery biologist Jennifer Schultz, said the DPS is now in danger of becoming extinct. "NOAA fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to change the status from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and the research for this change is based on the best available scientific information," she explained.

She said threats to the green sea turtle population in Guam include illegal harvesting of turtles and eggs, loss and degradation of habitat, fishery by-catch, entanglement in marine debris, climate change, and sea level rise. "We did look at all of the turtles that genetically belonged to the DPS," she added.

She said it includes turtles that nest in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

While illegal harvesting is suspected in Guam, legal harvesting does take place elsewhere. Schultz said with the proposed change, regulations regarding the capture and consumption of green sea turtles would remain the same, but educational or exhibition uses would now be prohibited. "It's kind of complicated to think about status going from threatened to endangered," she said. "And it does reflect our concerns that the DPS is in danger of extinction, but I think that people should look at this in a way that's very hopeful."

Schultz said the situation in Guam is similar to one in Florida in the 1970s, when green sea turtles were listed as endangered due to commercial harvesting. Years later, NOAA is now proposing to delist that DPS down to threatened. "It's been a huge success story for us and we're hopeful that there will be a similar outcome for the turtles in the Central West Pacific DPS," she stated.

Members of the community are encouraged to submit their comments on the proposed change by August 26, either online or via postal mail to:

Jennifer Schultz
NOAA Fisheries
1315 East West Highway #13535
Silver Spring, MD 20910

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Chunggiwa Restaurant, Top Island Restaurant shut down

    Chunggiwa Restaurant, Top Island Restaurant shut down

    Courtesy: Google Street ViewCourtesy: Google Street View

    One Restaurant re-opens, and another closes. Top Island Restaurant in Tamuning was shut down with a grade of D. Public health inspectors found unclean employee practices, and an active roach infestation. Reports say the Person In Charge confirms they have not hired pest control services and apply pesticides on their own. Live roaches were found throughout the kitchen, and the front counter area. While dead roaches were found in the freezer, chillers, kitchen, front counter and dry st...

    More >>

    One Restaurant re-opens, and another closes. Top Island Restaurant in Tamuning was shut down with a grade of D. Public health inspectors found unclean employee practices, and an active roach infestation. Reports say the Person In Charge confirms they have not hired pest control services and apply pesticides on their own. Live roaches were found throughout the kitchen, and the front counter area. While dead roaches were found in the freezer, chillers, kitchen, front counter and dry st...

    More >>
  • Ray Tenorio, Tony Ada make gubernatorial run official

    Ray Tenorio, Tony Ada make gubernatorial run official

    A fifth gubernatorial candidate has now officially submitted his papers to the Guam Election Commission.  As has been long expected, Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio will be vying for the top seat at Adelup. His running mate is former Senator Tony Ada. So far, Tenorio is the lone Republican Gubernatorial hopeful. The team filed Thursday afternoon surrounded by supporters. Tenorio stated, "We believe in embracing everybody and everyone's voice and their consideration. Th...More >>
    A fifth gubernatorial candidate has now officially submitted his papers to the Guam Election Commission.  As has been long expected, Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio will be vying for the top seat at Adelup. His running mate is former Senator Tony Ada. So far, Tenorio is the lone Republican Gubernatorial hopeful. The team filed Thursday afternoon surrounded by supporters. Tenorio stated, "We believe in embracing everybody and everyone's voice and their consideration. Th...More >>
  • GPD: crime on Guam is decreasing

    GPD: crime on Guam is decreasing

    Guam's crime rate is going down - at least this is the trend, according to the Guam Police Department's 2016 Uniform Crime Report which covers years 2012 through 2016. GPD Chief of Police JI Cruz says that although they don't have the ideal number of personnel, they've transitioned from traditional to community policing which has had a positive impact on numbers. "With our strategy of policing and how we've analyzed crime, all things taken into consideration, we do feel that wit...More >>
    Guam's crime rate is going down - at least this is the trend, according to the Guam Police Department's 2016 Uniform Crime Report which covers years 2012 through 2016. GPD Chief of Police JI Cruz says that although they don't have the ideal number of personnel, they've transitioned from traditional to community policing which has had a positive impact on numbers. "With our strategy of policing and how we've analyzed crime, all things taken into consideration, we do feel that wit...More >>
Powered by Frankly