World Turtle News, 06/06/2018
Data Proves Devastating Effects Of Sea Turtle Bycatch Off South America Coastline
The South American fishing industry is a major aspect of the economy of multiple pacific countries, providing jobs and food to thousands of people. However, this necessary and vital practice comes with negative side effects, one of which affects the sea turtles that frequent the area. The massive numbers of small fishing vessels directly affect the sea turtle population through bycatch, which is accidental catching of the turtles mainly by nets. Recent research supported by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative has pinpointed the causes and possible solutions to the problem, taking into account the importance of preserving the important fishing industry in that part of the world. According to the survey, over 16,000 sea turtles are killed by nets in South America, and conservationists are working closely with the fisherman to develop a reasonable and sustainable method to reduce accidental capture and therefore boast the sea turtle population while simultaneously benefiting the fishing economy.
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Photo from Owen Humphreys.