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Impact of fisheries on sea turtles

The bycatch of sea turtles by industrial fisheries is receiving an increasing attention in recent years due to the high impact it causes on these endangered species. This issue was evaluated in southern Spain waters that harbors an important feeding ground of loggerhead and leatherback turtles, including the endangered Eastern Atlantic loggerhead population. To quantify the impact that different fisheries represents to sea turtles, 272 fishermen answered to detailed illustrated questionnaires in all the main ports of Andalusia and Murcia (Spain) during 2014. This study has updated the knowledge of turtle bycatch in the southwestern Mediterranean revealing a widespread impact of fisheries on sea turtles. Fishermen recognized an annual catch of 2.3 turtles per boat. Considering the census of industrial fishing boats in the study area (1182), more than 2840 sea turtles could be bycaught per year in the study area. Most of captures (96.2%) were produced during the summer. These results suggest a severe impact of most of legal fisheries (surface longline, pursue seine, trawling and small scale fisheries) on loggerhead feeding grounds in the southwestern Mediterranean. Fishermen suggests that drift fishing conducted by foreign or illegal fishermen and almadrabas are also causing a significant bycatch of turtles. Several measures such as reviewing compliance of current fishing and environmental regulations, modifying turtle technics to reduce turtle bycatch (e.g. reduction of the use of squid as bait and disposal of hooks deeper in the water column), facilitating the rescue and handle of wound turtles and their transport to the port for recovery, and recognizing the efforts of anglers to perform a more sustainable fishing, are recommended to mitigate this impact. informacion[at] Marco et al (2020) Sea turtle bycatch by different types of fisheries in southern Spain. Basic and Applied Herpetology
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Complexity of translation of research outputs to society

Complexity of translation of research outputs to society

Researchers in multiple, related fields that address complex social and environmental challenges, have shown ongoing enthusiasm for applying transdisciplinary social-ecological systems research to promote sustainability. However, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of social-ecological systems approach, assessed its achievements, and identified challenges to its implementation toward knowledge production for environmental conservation. Here, the results of a qualitative, participatory evaluation of several social-ecological systems projects across Europe are reported, using an evaluation methodology tailored to transdisciplinary projects. Sixty-six stakeholder interviews were conducted at four designated Long-Term Socio-ecological Research (LTSER) platforms – Danube Delta and Braila Island (Romania); Cairngorms (Scotland); and Doñana (Spain). Using qualitative analysis, data from interviews were synthesized and then researchers returned to the sites to present findings to stakeholders in focus group discussions in order to incorporate their feedback into conclusions. Although particular scientists at each platform have taken on entrepreneurial roles to operationalize transdisciplinary science, a business-as-usual attitude tends to dominate institutions, limiting meaningful progress toward transdisciplinary objectives, including: integration of social science research, giving non-researcher stakeholders a more meaningful role in advancing relevant research, and improving knowledge exchange among different stakeholder groups, among other issues. This evaluation reflect modest advancements toward reaching the goals of long-term, place-based, social-ecological systems research. In most cases, the components for creating dynamic "research-implementation spaces" are present: a charismatic leader, high-quality research institutions, relationships with stakeholders, and ongoing monitoring, research, and traditional knowledge on a variety of place-based topics. However, creating links, tools, communication, and coordination among these essential parts so that they constitute effective application of scientific knowledge to address societal challenges in environmental sustainability presents many challenges. In short, while all the components of transdisciplinary social-ecological systems research exist at the sites, there is no overarching strategy to link long-term planning and funding, knowledge integration, and priority-setting with stakeholders to ensure the relevance of research for policy and practice. informacion[at] Holzer et al (2019) Evaluating transdisciplinary science to open research-implementation spaces in European social-ecological systems. Biol Conserv 238 DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108228