As I sit at this computer to update you on my life, I have a tear running down my cheek and a knot in my stomach. I am so sorrowful, angry, and disgusted by what I just witnessed. I was working at the docks per usual, measuring lobster, when fishermen that I know brought in the cutest turtle…to massacre and eat. The brutal way that the fishermen here treat turtles is disgusting, they keep them alive as long as possible, and don’t even give them a respectable death. Now I did not stick around to watch them cut up this beautiful creature. But as it was lying on the dock, belly up, panting and literally crying, my heart broke. Now, I knew that fishers here catch turtle for local consumption, but I never expected that would have to be something I would have to witness. Turtles are so magnificent, and if you every have swam with them I know you would appreciate their magnificence and grace. I probably sound so dramatic, but turtles are my favorite animal, and the way these men treated it, and me and paige, was disgraceful. We were pleading for them to let it back into the ocean, and requested that they just eat lobster or fish instead. They laughed and called us fools, we even offered money. Half- jokingly, Paige said “I will make out with you if you let it go..” and they mocked us saying “I would prefer a good fuck”. They are so disrespectful and rude it just got my blood boiling and I couldn’t even talk to them. I just sat there tearing up, feeling heavy for this creature in front of me. I am such a mixture of emotions right now, and it doesn’t help that I knew these people, and they showed little respect or sympathy, they were just annoying. They even said “Go back to campus and collect money to pay us, and maybe it’ll save your little friends life” like no.. someone will just hop back in and catch it. I just felt so helpless and there was literally nothing I could do to save it. For obvious reason Paige and I left the dock immediately to prevent seeing the turtle be sliced up alive in front of us.
To make matters worse, previous to this event while I was working at the fishery today, another fisherman came over to me to brag about his days excitement. Apparently he killed a 12 foot tiger shark. Now, this is something I have witnessed before, but what really disgusted me is that they just left it in the water, keeping just it’s tail. What a waste. The only reason why I was somewhat okay with the other killings of sharks was that all of the meat was sold eating. This time, they were just killing for fun and the entire shark went to waste. I was infuriated, and clearly unimpressed, and overall just pissed. There needs to be some serious laws put into place here, and it needs to happen ASAP. I don’t know why this crap is allowed, but if we are going to keep the ocean’s ecosystems healthy, we need to end this senseless killing.
On a brighter note, I will fill you all in on my week. Monday, the entire day was deicated to working on our Resource Management zoning presentation. My group was assigned ecotourism, which was probably the easiest for me because I really am interested in it. My group was assigned but ended up being amazing. It was me Luda, Kirby and Shane, and I htink are project went well. All of our presentations were 20 minutes each, so that lasted almost two long hours. After dinner, we got to make jewelry which I enjoyed. We got to make lionfish earrings, they look really cool. Speaking of lionfish, the interns have been going out and spearing lionfish for the past few week. They ended up with 46 in just 4 dives. These lionfish are incredibly invasive, so it is awesome that they are taking them off the reef. We ate them for dinner Sunday, and they were fried and tasted so incredible. If anyone ever has the opportunity to try lionfish, I would highly recommend it. They are super yummy and also really need to be taken off the reefs. They have the capability to seriously change the ecosystems, and they eat tons of the native species.