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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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Blood analysis potential in wild vertebrates studies

Blood analysis potential in wild vertebrates studies

Blood analyses have great potential in studies of ecology, ecotoxicology and veterinary science in wild vertebrates. The major caveat for field researchers, however, is that the ‘rules' for human or domestic animal haematology do not always apply to wildlife. The present overview shows the strengths and limitations of blood analyses in wild vertebrates, and proposes a standardisation of pre-analytical procedures plus some suggestions for a more systematic examination of blood smears to increase the diagnostic value of blood data. By discussing the common problems that field researchers face with blood variables, authors also aim to highlight common ground enabling new researchers in the field to accurately collect blood samples and interpret and place their haematological findings into the overall picture of an ecological or eco-toxicological study. Besides showing the practicality and ecological relevance of simple blood variables, this study illustrates the suitability of blood samples for the application of cutting-edge analytical procedures for expanding the current repertoire of diagnostic tools in wildlife monitoring and ecosystem health assessment. informacion[at] Maceda-Veiga et al (2015) Inside the Redbox: Applications of haematology in wildlife monitoring and ecosystem health assessment Sci Total Environ doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.004