Study: Sea Turtles Dying in Nets - Oceana USA
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2008-10-16 00:00:00

Study: Sea Turtles Dying in Nets

Sea turtle lovers, you might want to sit down for this. This week, a study found that nearly 3,000 endangered Pacific loggerhead sea turtles were found dead along a 27-mile stretch of Baja California, Mexico’s coast during a five-year period from 2003 to 2007. That’s an average of more than 11 sea turtles found dead a week – on a relatively small stretch of beach.The turtle deaths are as a result of fishing bycatch, when turtles get caught accidentally in fishing nets, which Oceana is campaigning to stop. We are working to reduce the number of sea turtles caught each year in commercial fisheries, get more observers on-board fishing boats to count the number of sea turtles caught, and obtain better information on how fisheries impact sea turtle populations. Another bycatch problem area we are worried about is the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Currently 770 sea turtles are caught every year in trawl fisheries operating in this area, yet only one is required to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), trap doors that allow 97% of sea turtles caught to escape.OK, now you can stand up — and do something about sea turtle bycatch by taking action to help us get TEDs in all trawl fishing gear.