Photo by @shawnheinrichs // “Turtle Roundup” - where many Southeast Asia endangered sea turtles take their last breath. 🐢☠️😢 On Hainan Island, a province of China in the South China Sea, is a floating city controlled by illegal wildlife traffickers and triads, that by all accounts is GROUND ZERO for illegal trafficking and trade in sea turtles. This floating city is made up of hundreds, if not thousands of netted water pens, many of which are packed to the rim with hawksbill and green sea turtles. The pens are so densely packed that the turtles have to fight their way to the surface to get a brief moment to breath. The turtles in these pens come from hatchlings and eggs poached from across Southeast Asia, including among others Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. The young turtles are then “raised” in these horrific pens and many succumb to diseases. The ones that survive to sub-adulthood become commodities in the illegal wildlife trade. Green turtles are typically sold for their meat and the hawksbills for their highly valuable shells, which are carved into combs, sunglass frames, hand fans, and certain luxury trinkets.
When I looked upon this massive operation systematically eradicating the wild sea turtle populations, my heart sinking and soul darkened, the only words that could come to mind were ‘turtle apocalypse’. This unconscionably violation of nature must be stopped. 🙏🏻👊
See more at the launch of @shawnheinrichs’ #lightonshadow exhibit by clicking the link in @bluespherefoundation bio. #turningthetide with @shawnheinrichs @sea_legacy