Sea turtles are long-lived species that reach sexual maturity after 20 – 30 years of age and migrate great distances at different stages of their lives. These unique life history features necessitate international cooperation and long-term monitoring programs to best understand and safeguard these endangered species.
Once amazingly abundant, Caribbean sea turtles have seen rapid decline since the time of European expansion in the Americas. Scientists estimate that in the 1600’s, over 90 million Green Turtles swam the Caribbean seas. Today the number is estimated at 300,000. Hawksbills have plunged 99.7% from 11 million to 30,000. Both Green Turtles and Hawksbills nest on Curaçao.
Today, fishing gear entanglement, illegal harvesting, coastal development, marine pollution and climate change are still putting serious pressure on sea turtle populations, which remain threatened with extinction not only in the Caribbean, but across the globe.
To learn more about or get involved with Curaçao sea turtle conservation contact the Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature, CARMABI or Uniek Curaçao.