The Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This long lived and highly migratory species is found in tropical and, to a lesser extent, sub-tropical waters throughout the globe. The Green Turtle has the most numerous and widely dispersed nesting sites of the seven turtle species.
Although international trade in Green Turtles is prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), green turtles and their eggs are still widely consumed, both legally and illegally – they were once highly sought after for their body fat, a key ingredient in the popular delicacy, ‘Green Turtle soup.’ They are also regularly caught as bycatch in fisheries, especially by trawls, gillnets, and longlines, and are threatened by coastal habitat destruction (particularly of nesting areas), and marine debris.
Green Turtles have been the focus of numerous international and regional treaties and protection measures for several decades, including the inclusion on Appendix I of CITES. The use of Turtle Excluder Devices in many trawl fisheries has also resulted in a decrease in incidental catch of this species, however it remains a significant threat globally.