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The Release
6 x 9

*Silver award winner Masters category 
International Society of Scratchboard Artists
 annual exhibition 2019

Every species of sea turtle in existence is now classified as endangered. These animals face an inordinate amount of threats to their survival. Eggs are poached for food as well as the meat of the turtles themselves. Turtles are often killed as secondary catch in fishing nets, and pollution offers a triple threat, not only from chemicals and plastics but also light pollution which disorients nesting turtles on beaches. Global warming is also having a dual impact. Warming seas are not only affecting breeding cycles, but as the sex of hatchling turtles is temperature dependent, an increase in sand temperature is causing more females than males being produced. Some areas are reporting no males at all being produced.

For all of these reasons, conservationists have been resorting to digging up nests in the most vulnerable areas and hatching the turtles in controlled environments for later release. I chose to depict a juvenile green sea turtle in this artwork which has been hatched in captivity and released to make its way to the ocean. This is the unfortunate reality of many sea turtles today. Hatchling green sea turtles are pretty dark and nondescript, covered in dusty sand upon digging their way out of a nest. The juvenile depicted here is just starting to develop some contrast and pattern which also made for a nicer looking scratchboard.