Punish Poachers for Killing Sea Turtles

800px-Lepidochelys_olivacea-By-Bernard-Gagnon

Target: Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico

Goal: Give poachers harsh legal sentences for killing baby sea turtles by stealing their eggs.

Hundreds of olive ridley sea turtle eggs are taken by poachers almost immediately after hatching each year from Morro Ayuta beach in Mexico. They are then sold to vendors because the eggs are considered by many to be an aphrodisiac and a delicacy. We need to take action to better ensure these poachers serve an adequate sentence for committing such a heartless crime.

The population of these turtles has decreased by 50 percent since the 1960s. Unfortunately, they may become extinct in the near future, as the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service lists their conservation status as endangered. Poachers have greatly contributed to this steady population decline. However, although a person caught hunting sea turtles may spend up to nine years in prison, it is not guaranteed the person will get the maximum punishment when sentenced. Allowing poachers to serve less lengthy sentences only sends the message that there will likely not be severe consequences for stealing olive ridley sea turtle eggs.

Demand the law be changed to better ensure all offenders will spend at least nine years in prison, rather than possibly only serving either a few months or a few years for taking such callous actions. If poaching laws are not strengthened in the near future, this species of sea turtle may soon die out forever.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Nieto,

Poachers steal hundreds of olive ridley sea turtle eggs every year from Morro Ayuta Beach in Mexico before selling them to vendors. It is important that harsh sentences are given to poachers who commit this crime in order to relay the message that such actions will not be tolerated.

Olive ridley sea turtle populations have dropped in half since the 1960s. Although poachers have greatly contributed to this population decrease, they are only required to serve up to nine years in prison. By not requiring all offenders to serve at least nine years in prison, a message is being sent that harsh penalties are not always given for committing this particular crime.

I therefore urge you to strengthen the law and to support poachers having to spend at least nine years in prison for stealing the eggs of the olive ridley sea turtle. If people are not given more severe legal penalties for taking such actions, these animals will likely soon become extinct.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Gagnon

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