Turtle beachings? - Oceana USA
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February 9, 2007

Turtle beachings?

We’ve heard of whale beachings before, but it seems as though endangered sea turtles have recently followed suit. Hundreds of olive ridley turtles have been found dead along Bangladesh’s coast in the past two weeks. Could it be something in the water? Yes. Most likely pollution and nets.Jafar Ahmed, a top official in the government’s marine fisheries department, would not give any specific reason for the spike in deaths, but said “the use of illegal fishing nets near the shoreline has apparently increased recently.” Other turtles that come to lay eggs on the beaches may be killed by pollution, stray dogs or foxes, or captured by tourists.

All six species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters – including olive ridley – are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the endangered status, each year, the U.S. government authorizes fisheries to kill nearly 10,000 sea turtles and to injure almost 350,000 more.