OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization volunteers are on the lookout after several sea turtle nests have been repeatedly damaged.
Island Coordinator Deb Allen says someone has been targeting six of their nests on the east end of the island since the beginning of July.
She says it appears someone is cutting the netting used to mark the nests each night. The volunteers spend extra time replacing the setup each morning. She clarifies that it could not be an animal because the lines are clean cuts and there is no digging to get to the eggs.
Allen explains this is an entanglement danger for the hatchlings. If the baby turtles were to emerge, they could get caught in the now loose string.
“We think it’s super mean-spirited. It doesn’t help anybody. The wind blows and that string could blow away from the sand and the nest and it could trip a visitor or anyone walking on the beach,” Allen said. “It’s dangerous for everyone and we don’t understand why people think it’s necessary. It’s not a joke, it’s not funny and it is against the law.”
Sea turtles are an endangered species. Interfering with them could result in jail time and up to a $50,000 fine.
If you have any information on the incidents, email Deb Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Ocean Isle Beach Police at (910) 579-4221. Allen says they will press charges against the perpetrator.