Posts tagged Leatherback
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 more about the status of sea turtle populations than ever before. We know where populations are in rough shape after being depleted by decades of unsustainable capture (accidental or otherwise), where habitat alterations have occurred, and where other threats from humans exist. And 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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Sea Turtles of the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a bountiful yet dangerous place for sea turtles. In an area bounded by Europe on its northern shores, Asia to the east, and Africa to the south, sea turtles share their relatively small home (2.5 million square kilometers, or about 1 million square miles) with more than 150 million people who live along the coasts of 20 countries and two island nations. Characterized by beautiful natural and cultural heritage sites and by rich biodiversity, the Mediterranean is also a troubled and overexploited sea, where sea turtles have a hard time coping with high fishing pressure, gas and oil development, major cross-continental maritime traffic, beachfront and other habitat impacts, and widespread marine pollution.

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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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