U.S. and China Release Sea Turtles into Disputed South China Sea

January 28, 2014

While China has claimed virtually the entire South China Sea as its own territory, and the airspace above it as its own as well, officials with the U.S. Consulate in China and China's Ministry of Agriculture recently joined forces with Sea Turtles 911 to release three sea turtles that underwent rehabilitation with Sea Turtles 911. As the turtles were released back into the now disputed waters, U.S. Consul General Jennifer Galt spoke on the need for cooperation and collaboration with regard to endangered species such as the sea turtles.


U.S. Consul General Jennifer Galt and Sea Turtles 911 staff release a sea turtle at the Ritz Carlton Sanya in Hainan China.


“Our governments must continue to work together to develop policy and programs that protect our most precious resources, businesses must play an active role in responsible development, and groups like Sea Turtles 911 must continue to fight for protection of local resources like sea turtles through education and outreach,” U.S. Consul General Jennifer Galt said.

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Two of the released sea turtles were green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) while the third sea turtle was a hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), a critically endangered species. The release coincided with the opening of Sea Turtle 911's Sea Turtle Shelter at the swanky Ritz-Carlton Sanya in Hainan, China. The shelter will serve as a rehabilitation facility but will also serve as a learning facility for its personnel to help educate the public about the dangers that sea turtles face every day. Turtles that cannot be released due to injury or disease will live out their days at the shelter.

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