[family Cheloniidae (5 species), family Dermochelyidae (one species, Leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea))]
Sea turtles are land reptiles that have returned to the sea, but adult females travel to the sandy beach where they hatched to lay their eggs above the high tide mark. This is often a trip of thousands of miles from the foraging grounds. Baby turtles, after hatching, head immediately for the sea, but are extremely vulnerable to predation by land animals. Once in the sea they are extremely vulnerable to predation by sharks. Those that make it through this experience (about 1%) may live long lives if not accidently caught and drowned by fishing gear.
All sea turtles are Internationally listed as "Endangered" or
"Threatened" and protected by national laws and international treaties.
They should not be disturbed, captured or eaten, nor should their nests and
eggs be disturbed. All sea turtles in U.S. waters are protected by the
Endangered Species Act which establishes substantial penalties for placing
them at risk.
Photo © i0105
It is not legal to eat sea turtles in the U.S. or to bring into the country products derived from sea turtles. Many other countries have similar bans.
Green Sea Turtle was long used to make the famous turtle soup, but you must now be satisfied with Mock Turtle Soup (and without even real mock turtles). Sea Turtle was an essential ingredient in the Mexican caldo de siete mares (seven seas soup) which is the only place I have eaten it. I can't tell you anything about the taste because that was well before the ban, an uncountable number of years ago.
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