Posts tagged Fisheries Bycatch
Atlantic Loggerheads: Why Isn’t the Best Understood Sea Turtle Recovering?

The Atlantic Ocean has served as a laboratory for pioneering work to save sea turtles. It is where Professor Archie Carr—and many whom he inspired— first addressed some profound mysteries that had stymied the conservation of such enigmatic marine animals. Loggerhead sea turtles became an exemplar of this work, revealing critical concepts such as the oceanic dispersal, the nature of the “lost years,” the migratory connections, and the relative importance of different life stages to population growth. These puzzle pieces have guided strategic sea turtle conservation for decades.

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Status Update: Modern Threats Taking a Toll on Northwest Atlantic Leatherbacks

Thanks to the decades of effort by dedicated beach monitors around the world we know where populations with positive trends are offering beacons of hope. Until recently, the Northwest Atlantic (NWA) leatherback, which nests throughout the Wider Caribbean region and spans the entire North Atlantic Ocean, even peeking into the Mediterranean, was one such beacon.

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The Continuing Tale of Circle Hooks in Brazil

Incidental capture of sea turtles in pelagic and coastal fisheries (also called bycatch) is arguably the greatest threat to sea turtles worldwide. Yet, until recently, there was practically no information regarding sea turtle interactions with longline fisheries in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. The first studies about this topic were made public by Uruguayan researchers in 1998, the same year that Brazilian researchers presented a report about the incidental capture of loggerhead turtles by longline vessels in Brazil. Although the government insisted that incidental capture was very low, Brazilian NGOs such as Projeto TAMAR asserted the opposite.

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Why Europe Needs to Adopt Turtle Excluder Devices

TEDs are a simple but elegant solution for minimizing sea turtle bycatch in trawl fisheries. As such, they are now mandated by many governments around the world and their use is enforced. However, Europe, which is the largest market for fisheries products in the world, has no such regulation and provides an alternative market for countries that do not use TEDs.

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Building Bycatch Solutions from the Ground Up for the East Pacific Leatherback

The East Pacific population of the leatherback is one of the world’s most threatened marine turtle regional management units, due in large part to bycatch of leatherbacks in foraging grounds. There may now be fewer than 1,000 adult females in this population owing to a combination of fisheries bycatch, egg harvesting, and other threats. As such, an expert working group was assembled to develop a 10-year regional action plan to halt and reverse the decline of the East Pacific leatherback turtle.

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Sea Turtles of the French Territories

Geopolitics of the past have left France with many territories that are spread across the globe, and the coincidental overlap of so many sea turtle regional management units is a fortunate consequence that allows France to play a disproportionately important role in sea turtle conservation. In this article, members of the French Marine Turtle Group offer an overview of the distribution and movement of turtles in French waters, as well as the threats facing turtles in French territories around the world. 

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The Sea Turtles of Africa

Africa’s sea turtles were once among the least studied in the world, and mounting threats to their survival, such as fishing, poaching, coastal development, and pollution, still require further study and urgent attention. Today, a growing number of institutions and individuals are shedding new light on sea turtle science, and they are helping find solutions to the continent’s sea turtle and ocean conservation challenges.

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Action on Ghost Gear

Ghost gear—intentionally or unintentionally abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear—is a global conservation problem that affects dozens of marine species, including sea turtles. Ghost gear continues to catch target and non-target species long after being lost, abandoned, or discarded, a process called ghost fishing.

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Two-Way Radios Save Turtles and Help Peruvian Fishermen

Despite the collateral damage they do, Peruvian small-scale fisheries form the backbone of Peru’s fishing sector and are the main source of income for more than 200,000 coastal families. Enter ProDelphinus, a Peruvian not-for-profit organization that is using real-time, two-way radio communication with fishermen at sea to help reduce the incidental capture of marine fauna and to promote long-term fishery sustainability.

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