See Sea Turtles Diving in Pattaya
If you are going to be Scuba Diving in Pattaya, then it’s possible even likely that you will have an encounter with a Sea Turtle. There are many living around the Pattaya waters mainly due to the Royal Thai Navy conservation programs. The most common sea turtle found when diving in Thailand is the Hawksbill Turtle. These turtles can live up to 50 years. Leatherback turtles are the largest and strongest of all sea turtles; they can swim further and dive deeper than any other sea turtle.
Sea turtles can help to keep tropical beaches safe from deadly box jellyfish, as they are immune to their poisonous sting and enjoy eating them. Sea turtles help to keep sea grass short by grazing along the sea floor and nibbling at the grass. Keeping the sea grass short helps it to spread across the sea bed providing habitats for many marine creatures. Without sea grass many species of sea life would face extinction.
Sea turtles are constantly in danger from poachers. In many countries turtles are hunted for their meat which is often considered to be a delicacy. In other parts of the world turtles are hunted for souvenir and ceremonial purposes. Hawksbill turtle shells are known to be particularly valuable and used for ornamental purposes.
Some cultures believe that sea turtle eggs are an aphrodisiac although there is no scientific proof to support this. In other cultures it is believed that eating them leads to a long life. But in order for the turtle species to have a long life, eggs are best left to hatch naturally and enhance the turtle population.
One of the most important nesting areas for Hawksbill turtles is along the inner gulf of the Chonburi province. Turtles are a protected species in Thailand and The Royal Thai Navy assist in keeping them safe from harm.
There are many turtle conservation centres in Thailand and visitors can volunteer to spend some time there learning about the turtles and helping to care for them. There is a sea turtle garden in Sriracha, about 25 kilometers from Pattaya where you can observe the turtles in a setting that is similar to their natural habitat.
Sea turtles almost always stay under the water, they only surface to take in air which they can do quickly then they dive back under the water. Turtle incubation takes about two months. When they are ready to hatch the baby turtles tear through their shell with their snout and dig through the sand. Once they reach the surface they instinctively head for the sea, turtle eggs usually hatch at night because during the day there are many predators such as seagulls waiting to pounce on the baby turtles.