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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]ebd.csic.es: Marco et al (2020) Sea turtle bycatch by different types of fisheries in southern Spain. Basic and Applied Herpetology https://doi.org/10.11160/bah.187


http://ojs.herpetologica.org/index.php/bah/article/view/187
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Data gaps and opportunities for comparative and conservation biology

Data gaps and opportunities for comparative and conservation biology

Given the current species extinction rates, evidence-based policies to conserve at-risk species are urgently needed. Ultimately, the extinction of a species is determined by birth and death rates, which drive populations to increase or decline. Therefore, demographic data are essential to inform species conservation policies or to develop extinction risk assessments. Demographic information provides an indispensable bedrock for insights to tackle species sustainable management and deepens understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes. Here, a Demographic Species Knowledge Index that classifies the demographic information for 32,144 tetrapod species is developed. Comprehensive information on birth and survival was found for only 1.3% (613) of the species, and the major potential of zoos and aquariums to significantly increase our demographic knowledge was shown. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Conde et al (2019) Data gaps and opportunities for comparative and conservation biology. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1816367116


https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/04/18/1816367116