From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

U.S. Court of International Trade
judge Thomas Aquilino ruled in early October,
responding to a motion from the Earth Island
Institute Sea Turtle Restoration Project, that the
State Department may no longer permit wildcaught
shrimp imports from nations that don’t
have a sea turtle protection program. Brazil and
China are likely to be most affected.
Louisiana Republican House members
Billy Tauzin, Jimmy Hayes, and Bob
Livingston held up a National Marine Fisheries
Service attempt to strengthen turtle excluder
device requirements by slipping a rider into the
omnibus appropriations bill signed on
September 30 by President Bill Clinton that
requires more study and consultation. The new
rule, mandating that TEDS have a rigid frame,
was to take effect December 31.

Deer hunters Jerry and Pat
O’Brien, of Cordova, Alaska, put aside their
rifles on October 9 to rescue a 170-pound East
Pacific green sea turtle, possibly hatched in
Mexico, whom they found stranded and freezing
on the shore of Montague Island, at the
entrance to Prince William Sound. The turtle
had apparently been stuck there for at least two
months, losing 130 pounds. The Cordova
Volunteer Fire Department slowly elevated his
temperature in warm water, guided by research
biologist Kathy Hough of the Prince William
Sound Science Center, who had training at the
Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine,
New Jersey. The endangered turtle was then
flown to the Hubbs Sea World Research Institute
in San Diego, where as of October 19 he
seemed to be recovering well.
San Francisco Zoo associate curator
John Aikin and administrative assistant
Woody Peterson on October 8 captured a threefoot
North American alligator, whose presence
in Mountain Lake at the southern end of the
Presidio had excited the city since July. Another
alligator, of similar size, remains at large in the
Wisconsin River near Sauk City, where he has
been seen off and on since September 7.
Shocked at the treatment of six giant
sea turtles they found cruelly tied awaiting
slaughter at a feast held for New Zealand prime
minister Jim Bolger in the Marshall Islands on
September 6, TV reporters kept their cameras
rolling as to their further horror the turtles were
roasted on hot coral and butchered alive. Bolger
avoided eating the turtle meat. Asked for comment
by New Zealand Herald reporter Catherine
Masters, Australian sea turtle biologist Colin
Limpus took the opportunity to denounce not
only the turtle killing, but also the common
practice of boiling alive lobsters and crayfish.
Grupo del Cien, the leading Mexican
environmental group, charged October 18 that
turtle egg poachers paid judicial police $2,000 to
$2,600 apiece to escort a truckload of half a million
eggs taken illegally from as many as 6,500
turtles’ nests four days earlier at Morra Ayutla
Beach, near Puerto Escondido. The truck was
seized by another police unit en route to sell the
eggs for human consumption as alleged aphrodisiacs
in Oaxaca and Mexico City. The incident
followed the September 3 destruction by
about 100 poachers of up to 100,000 sea turtles’
nests at Esobilla Beach, Oaxaca state. The
marines who normally guard the beach were
instead dispatched to help pursue a guerilla band
that four days earlier killed nine people including
three marines about 100 miles to the south.
Officials closed roads on October 15
in the Shawnee National Forest, in southern
Illinois, to protect turtles and 59 species of
snake native to the forest as they migrated from
their summer swampland habitat to winter dens
among rocky ledges often located on the far side
of the blacktop.
The Xinhua news agency claimed on
October 15 that, “Scientists in Anhui province
have made a breakthrough in taming alligators,
allowing them to perform daring stunts,” at a
breeding research center established in 1983,
which has purportedly increased the numbers of
the species involved from about 500 then to
circa 5,000 now.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.