Washington - In testimony today before the Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation of the House Resources Committee, World Wildlife Fund strongly supported passage of the Marine Turtle Conservation Act. The bill, H.R. 3378, would authorize up to $5 million a year for projects to conserve marine turtles and their nesting habitats in foreign countries. A similar measure has already passed the Senate.
In his testimony before the committee, Brooks Yeager, vice president of WWF's global threats program, said:
"It is crucial that we take every opportunity to ensure the survival of marine turtles. Six of the world's seven marine turtle species are endangered or critically endangered. Habitats key to their survival are being rapidly degraded.
"As well as playing important roles in balancing coastal ecosystems, marine turtles play a significant role in many coastal economies. Increasingly, communities are finding ways to benefit from turtles economically while conserving them."
"WWF has been working all over the world to protect sea turtles and their habitats for more than 40 years. We have learned that strategic investments and long-term commitments pay off.
"The Marine Turtle Conservation Act is an important opportunity to support international conservation of threatened sea turtles outside of the U.S. to ensure that the successes of ongoing conservation efforts here are not lost when the animals leave our shores. The Act will advance conservation goals, build conservation partnerships and leverage significant resources from private and other sources and build goodwill abroad."