Year in Review for Loggerheads - Oceana USA
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October 30, 2008

Year in Review for Loggerheads

Tomorrow marks the official last day of the 2008 sea turtle nesting season. While this year’s nesting data shows an increase in nesting from last year, Oceana scientists point out that the long-term data still show a serious decline in loggerhead sea turtle nesting. Nesting data from the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, the most important nesting habitat for loggerhead sea turtles in the United States, shows a slight rise in nesting from dismal 2007 levels. This is most likely due to the fact that female loggerhead nesting is cyclical — they only nest every two to four years.Meanwhile, data from a decades-long monitoring study, conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, shows that while leatherback and green sea turtle nesting has slightly increased in recent years, loggerhead nesting has decreased by more than one-third since 1998.Loggerheads (and other sea turtle species) are injured and killed in destructive fishing gear such as trawls, and right now we are asking the government to put Turtle Excluder Devices — turtle escape hatches — in all trawl fisheries in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.Write to the government today to help us get sea turtles out of trawls.