NOKOMIS, FL (WWSB)- Mote Marine Lab is urging people to stay away from sea turtle nests on area beaches.
This comes after poachers damaged a nest on Nokomis Beach last week.
"It's their habitat and we're the ones just visiting them," Said Nokomis beachgoer, Rene Lyst.
Some beachgoers are angered after hearing about poachers going through a sea turtle nest last week.
Mote said the poachers were discovered by one of their nighttime sea turtle tagging teams, but the suspects were able to get away.
"There was still eggs in the nest but there was one broken egg outside of the nest so at least one egg was damaged in the process," Said Mote Senior Biologist, Melissa Bernhard.
Mote reminds people that harassing or touching a sea turtle, their eggs, or any of the nest marking materials is illegal and can land you a fine or jail time.
"All sea turtles are either threatened or endangered and so that means they're covered by federal and state laws protecting them," Bernhard said.
One beachgoer said it's important to respect all creatures.
"It's just like your family, you want people to respect and take care of your family then we need to respect and take care of the families of other creatures, especially out here on the beach," Said Lyst.
Mote said if you see someone trying to harm sea turtle nests on the beach to call the sheriffs office or FWC immediately.
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