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Releasing Baby Turtles at Beach Wedding

So, we went to a beach wedding that was held near where sea turtles lay their eggs...  After the ceremony, the guests were encouraged to release newly-hatched turtles into the ocean.  

They had a bunch of baby turtles and you were supposed to let them go into the ocean after whispering your wishes for the couple to them...

Anyway, what are your feelings about this?  I will refrain from commenting for awhile so as not to influence...  

Re: Releasing Baby Turtles at Beach Wedding

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    Ridiculous. On a few levels.
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    Is that even safe? I'd be worried about hurting them.
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    Oh sweet baby jesus.
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    Heck no!  I take it that they originally prevented the turtles from reaching the ocean so that they could have them for the release?
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    Turtles hatch and make their way to sea on their own.  I don't know that I would be big on doing it for them. 

    Plus, what if someone stepped on one?  That would kill the mood.
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    Hmm, considering the survival rate for baby sea turtles is pretty low, I'm not sure I even like the symbolism here.  "Whisper your wish for the couple and hope it doesn't get eaten by something bigger and badder!"
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    Unless scientists say it's good for the turtles, I'm going to go with "no".  Plus, don't turtles have a lot of germs that you'll get on your hands (or worse, the turtles will get germs from humans)?
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    I guess maybe it could help the turtles since so many of them die before they even make it to the water, but I have no research to back me up and regardless I think it's a stupid idea.  And interfering with nature in a ridiculous way.
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    Also, aren't most sea turtles protected species? Meaning, you aren't allowed to touch them/mess with them in any way?

    And yes, most sea turtles hatch at night
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    PS, I've always wanted to watch sea turtle hatching from afar, like watch them crawl to the water, or even better help them out if that's possible/ok/wouldn't hurt anything, but now remembering their survival rate I don't think I want to watch that many baby turtles die.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_releasing-baby-turtles-beach-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:64d8595d-8c95-4a62-9493-389d51efd258Post:f636b7b3-89d0-4d60-860e-e99481d9d0e6">Releasing Baby Turtles at Beach Wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]you were supposed to let them go into the ocean after whispering your wishes for the couple to them... Posted by ExpatPumpkin[/QUOTE]

    THIS part makes it alllll okay. 
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    This is weird on so many levels. 
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    First of all, THANK GOD for your sanity...  DH and I were disgusted by the idea.

    The summer before this wedding, we were in Cancun...  Some of the hotels allow turtle preservationists - real scientists ;) - to use their beach front to help the turtles.  They collect the eggs and bury them in a fenced area nearby.  Then, when they hatch they hold them there until the night and let them go around midnight.  The turtles have a higher success rate at night since the birds can't see them and swoop down.

    We got to help with the release one night, and it was a beautiful experience.  We learned that only about 10% of them make it, though :(

    So we were appalled at the turtle release at the wedding.  They did it right after dusk, and I'm not sure where the turtles came from or when they hatched.  We thought it was so selfish for them to interfere in this way.  I don't even know if it was legal :(
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    As a college level environmental science teacher, I can't even begin to explain how bad something like this is for the species.  It's the same as releasing butterflies after a ceremnoy -- the migratory patterns get all screwed up and we end up with collapsing ecosystems and decreasing populations.  I hate ignorant people.

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    Hi all--

    I have worked with a gentleman a few times that runs a turtle rescue organization in Mexico.  The survival rate of the turtles was dropping on this particular beach because people were harvesting the eggs to eat them.  At one point a couple of decades ago the population was nearly decimated (ie only 20 or so turtles).

    This man and his team pick up the eggs after laying, then raise them in a habitat.  When the eggs are mature they hatch.  He then releases them into the ocean at night.  On many night there are folks watching, so he talks to them about the importance of conservation.  I've helped with that a few times.

    Last year there were 1600 turtles that returned to this one small beach to lay their eggs.

    I can't make a comment on the appropriateness of doing this at a wedding, but those are some facts about turtle conservation as I've experienced it.  I don't think that whispering good thoughts to the babies increases survival though, lol!
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    I just don't condone using animals of any kind as props in a wedding. No turtles, fish, doves, or dogs in the ceremony, it just doesn't seem to be fair to the animal. Plus with only 10% surviving, that's just terrible symbolism for your "well wishes."
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    Really... 3 votes yes? I am going to hope that that was accidental or you come here and speak your support... Really???
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    it makes me sad that somebody would do this.

    it also makes me sad that multiple people voted "yes."

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