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A trial begins next week for a man charged with trafficking thousands of protected turtles captured in New Jersey, an unlikely hotbed of wildlife poaching that has helped supply China with a culinary delicacy that is hard to find in Asia.Asia, where native populations of turtles have been depleted, is fueling a surge in turtle poaching across the United States, wildlife advocates say.Selling for up to $3,000 each, the creatures are considered particularly healthful to eat because turtles symbolize longevity in some Asian cultures, Williamson said.The institute, built on a marsh about 19 kilometers north of Cape May, New Jersey, helps return confiscated turtles to the wild, including the 3,500 reptiles that Sommers is accused of snatching.In August Texas became the latest to ban commercial turtle hunts, with only six states still allowing unlimited turtle trapping.
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