A report from the Center for Biological Diversity from early February shared a report regarding the deaths of hundreds of loggerhead sea turtles in Mexico as a result of entanglement in fishing gear. The Mexican government need to be held accountable for failing to protect the 351 dead sea turtles that were found dead between January and June 2020.
Protecting Sea Turtles From Fishing Gear
Each year hundreds of thousands of marine wildlife get entangled in fishing gear and end up dying. Sea turtles are no exception to this, getting caught in fishing gear meant for fish or even getting entangled in ghost gear that has been lost or ditched in the ocean. If a turtle gets entangled in fishing gear and is incapable of getting out then it will continue to struggle to get free until it eventually runs out of energy and oxygen, and dies.
Turtle Excluder Devices
Turtle excluder devices (TED) are specially designed devices which allows any captured sea turtle to safely escape fishermen's net. These TEDs are legally required in some countries around the world and are excellent at helping to protect endangered sea turtle species.
You Can Help Prevent Entanglement
We can all do our part to help protect and prevent sea turtles from getting entangled. Here are a few really easy ways you can protect sea turtles:
Take part in beach cleans. Every piece of fishing net or line removed from the coast will help ensure it doesn't get washed back out to sea.
Petition for more regulation and better incentives for fishermen to not only prevent them from discarding or losing their fishing gear but also to collect ghost gear when they are out on the ocean. By introducing an incentive less fishing gear will be lost or discarded when it breaks out at sea and also can encourage fishermen to collect any fishing gear they might come across.
Fishing gear isn't the only threat to sea turtle, plastic pollution can also entangle sea turtles or be eaten by the turtles and can be fatal. So you can help by reducing plastic waste in your life, less plastic waste means less plastic in the ocean to kill sea turtles.
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