Sea turtles are killed in the thousands for either meat consumption or illegal trade of their ornate shells. Females are particularly vulnerable during nesting seasons, as they have no protection while moving along the beaches. Nests are often raided for eggs to be used in medicines, cultural ceremonies, or consumed as an aphrodisiac.

Conservation projects around the world are working with local communities to raise awareness about the protection of sea turtles in order to deter poaching.