Sea turtle nests protected by state and federal law

English: Legal posting related to sea turtles ...

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There are signs common in Florida and other coastal areas warning of potential fines and imprisonment for various offenses related to endangered sea turtles and their nests. The provisions are fairly specific yet wide-ranging.

Florida state law provides protection against taking, possessing, disturbing, mutilating, destroying or causing to be destroyed, selling or offering for sale, transferring, molesting, or harassing any marine turtle or its nest or eggs at any time.

Federal law provides even greater protection (and criminal penalties as severe as $100,000 and a year in prison) if you “take, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, or capture any marine turtle, turtle nest, and/or eggs, or attempt to engage in any such conduct.”

Obviously, marine turtles are still on the endangered species list, so they are afforded these protections. We can all easily endorse such a law, recognizing the inherent value of the life of a sea turtle — even realizing that the life in the eggs is something that should be given the same level of protection.