West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP) – State wildlife officials are set to
consider imposing the nation’s strongest measures to protect
freshwater turtles in Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission board
could decide Wednesday whether to approve a proposal by scientists
to ban most freshwater turtle harvests to protect the populations
of about 19 species. FWC scientists and environmentalists say the
harvests of thousands of turtles from Florida annually could
threaten their long-term survival.
Gov. Charlie Crist also has asked the commission to ban
harvesting of wild turtles, which are considered a delicacy in
Asia, where thousands of the state’s species are shipped every year
to meet growing demand.
The new rule would allow just one turtle per day per person to
be taken from the wild.