Diamondback terrapin turtles now off limits in New Jersey
TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie has signed a measure to protect a native New Jersey turtle known for living in salty marshes along the coast and sometimes falling victim to auto traffic during the shore's busy summer months.
The Republican governor on Friday signed the bill into law, making it illegal to hunt or harvest diamondback terrapins.
The legislation from the Democrat-controlled Legislature 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.
Though the terrapins have not been listed as endangered or threatened in New Jersey, the state DEP considers their population to be decreasing.
Christie says the law "will help to ensure the species remains a feature of our natural landscape for generations to come."
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