Consumption of sea turtles meat cause 9 death and 78 hospitalization in Zanzibar.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

Tragedy struck Pemba Island in Zanzibar earlier this month as nine people lost their lives, including eight children and one adult, following the consumption of sea turtle meat. An additional 78 individuals were hospitalised, highlighting the dangers associated with this practice.

Sea turtle meat poses significant risks such as chelonitoxism, a form of food poisoning, which can lead to symptoms ranging from nausea to severe muscular weakness. This heartbreaking incident echoes a similar catastrophe in November 2021, underlining the urgent need for awareness and action.đź’”Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased.

The endangered green sea turtle and the critically endangered hawksbill turtle are both found in Zanzibar’s waters. The green sea turtle population has declined by 90% in the last 50 years due to overharvesting of their eggs, hunting, nesting habitat loss, and fishing gear entanglement. The hawksbill sea turtle is the most endangered of the seven sea turtle species, with around 8,000 nesting females left.

Let’s spread the message to say NO to illegal bushmeat and conserve our remaining sea turtles by protecting their habitat and reporting wildlife crime.

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