Alabama slams door on commercial harvest of wild freshwater turtles, their eggs and turtle parts
MOBILE, Alabama -- Concerned by the growing efforts of turtle harvesters to feed an Asian market’s voracious appetite for turtle meat, Alabama officials imposed an emergency rule effective Sunday to end all commercial take of wild turtles, their eggs and turtle parts.
The rule applies to all of the state’s public and private waters.
Mark Sasser, nongame wildlife coordinator, said that officials told Conservation Commissioner Gunter Guy Jr., "The sooner we can stop it the better."
By extending the ban to all waters — public and private — it closes potential loopholes, Sasser said. "We didn’t want anybody to be able to say, ‘Well, I caught these from a pond on my granddaddy’s place,’ or ‘They came from a slough down at my uncle Joe’s,"’ he said.
In early March, the Press-Register reported warnings to the conservation board by two Auburn-based herpetologists, Craig Guyer and Jim Godwin, that the state’s turtle populations were under siege.