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Heavy poaching of sea turtles in Volta region alarming residents

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Residents in Keta Municipality and South Tongu Districts in the Volta region have been advised to help in the conservation of sea turtles along the coast for healthier oceans because they play a vital role in the ocean’s well-being.

The Executive Director of the Development Institute ,a non-governmental organization, Ken Kinney told Joy News the activities of some residents is becoming alarming causing lots of havoc to the oceans.

“The activities of some of these residents to a large extent is really worrying and becoming very alarming,” Ken Kinny lamented.

According to Ken Kinney, it has become a booming business for some of the residents who kills the turtles, smokes it and sells it at some markets especially the Dabala market in the South Tongu District.

He said, the future of the oceans is at a high-risk if nothing is done about the situation to stop the illegal activities in these communities.

Bright Mawunyo Adagba, a tour guide and sea turtle conservationist with Sea Turtles Conservation, Volta – Ghana said in an interview with Joy News that he is frustrated that his group has to go through trying to save the lives of the sea turtles. According to Bright, these people involved in the illegal acts even threatens the lives of the people whose main aim is  rescuing the sea turtles for the fear of being reported to the authorities.

“They sometimes threaten us even to the extent of using black magic on us because they know it is an illegal business and they may be reported to the authorities,” Adzagba said.

They are, however, appealing to the authorities to help stop the destruction of the sea turtles and arrest the perpetrators of the illegal activities of the residents to serve as deterrent to others.

Sea turtles are protected by the laws of Ghana and each sea turtle species uniquely affects the diversity, habitat and functionally of its environment. Whether by greasing on sea grass, controlling sponge distribution ,feasting on jellyfish, transporting nutrients or supporting other marine life, sea turtles play a vital role in maintaining the health of the ocean.

It is against the laws to chop, pick or sell a sea turtle or their eggs.

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