VIDEO: Governor Christie Signs Bill That Makes it Illegal to Hunt or Harvest Terrapins
NEW JERSEY - Governor Chris Christie is protecting a native New Jersey turtle known for living in salty marshes and sometimes falling victim to cars during the shore's busy summer months. Christie signed a bill into law that makes it illegal to hunt or harvest diamondback terrapins. Though the terrapins have not been listed as endangered or threatened in New Jersey, the State Department considers their population to be decreasing. Experts at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor say that this new law adds a level of protection for the terrapins. "Terrapins in New Jersey face many threats from being killed on the roads when females come up to nest, to getting caught in crab traps, to loss of habitat to development and also to harvest and so with the new bill that's been signed terrapins now face one less threat," said Lisa Ferguson. The legislation came in response to a growing commercial market for terrapin meat, particularly in the Asian food market where their meat is traditionally viewed as a symbol of longevity.