WHEREAS, Florida's waters are home to a number of species of sea turtles, including the green sea turtle and the loggerhead sea turtle, all of which are listed by the state and the Federal Government as threatened or endangered, and
WHEREAS, although identified as threatened or endangered, and thereby protected by law, Florida's sea turtles continue to face a host of threats to their survival, and
WHEREAS, the green sea turtle and loggerhead sea turtle are currently victims of fibropapilloma, a fatal disease of unknown cause, which is at epidemic levels in certain areas of Florida, and the seriousness of this disease has been amply attested by wildlife and sea turtle biologists, whose research efforts have been documented in several reports and papers, and
WHEREAS, the National Marine Fisheries Service has established a Sea Turtle Recovery Plan for both green sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles and is working with the Department of Environmental Protection in tagging, releasing, and recovering both green and loggerhead sea turtles and assisting in the disposal of diseased and dead turtles, and
WHEREAS, despite some fibropapilloma research, much more is required in order to effectively protect both the green sea turtle and the loggerhead sea turtle,
NOW, THEREFORE, Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
That the Legislature recognizes that fibropapilloma is indeed a serious threat to the survival of the state's green sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles, both protected by state and federal law, and urges that research into the preservation of these species be viewed as a matter of pressing concern.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be dispatched to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Florida Marine Research Institute.
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