News Release

Florida leads the way for freshwater turtles

20 April 2009
Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox) Photo: Matt Aresco

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously to ban the commercial harvest of freshwater turtles throughout the state on Wednesday, April 15.

The move comes after several of the world’s leading turtle scientists called on Florida's Governor Charlie Crist to end the commercial hunting of turtles which supplies eastern Asia. The experts, brought together by the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission, alerted the Governor that the state's turtles were at high risk of being wiped out by the expanding global trade in turtles which had recently begun to target Florida's fairly robust turtle poulations.

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