It’s official: Terrapin is off the menu in New Jersey

It’s official: Terrapin is off the menu in New Jersey

In New Jersey, Terrapin is off the menu now. Gov. Chris Christie signed a law on Friday to prohibit the hunting of diamondback terrapin. The apparent backing of Christie for the bill, which was put forward by a Democratic-controlled legislature, is an uncommon sight of allowance between both the polarized political parties. The conservation can probably become an issue to bridge the party gap.

The species of swamp-dwelling turtle, diamondback terrapin has been dubbed so because its shell carries diamond-shaped patterns on it. The species are widely found along the entire Eastern Seaboard, and roamed in huge numbers till the 18th century.

Until the 1900s, the species was almost hunted to extinction because of its recognition as a delicacy, but then federal officials came to know about the decline.

Even today, a commercial market for terrapin meat exists and its existence is a major concern for conservationists already afraid of the terrapin’s fading population. Many of the salt marshes where terrapin used to live historically have been destroyed as a result of urbanization, and crossing cars are a continuous threat for individual turtles.

In many states, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the terrapin has been listed as endangered or threatened, but they don’t have any federal conservation status.

In a statement, Christie said that now they have joined other Atlantic coastal states in taking a significant step to stop this unique species from any further inclination in the direction of extinction.

Christie added, “The diamondback terrapin is a natural treasure and integral part of our coastal landscape in New Jersey, and this action will help to ensure the species remains a feature of our natural landscape for generations to come”.

The approval of the bill has come as a victory for terrapins and conservationists alike. The move may also signify a shift in thought, wherein Republicans and Democrats can really agree.