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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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Asymmetric iris heterochromia in birds

Asymmetric iris heterochromia in birds

For the first time the unique coloured pattern of the iris of buttonquails (Turnicidae) is described. This unique pattern is due to the presence of a dark-brown crescent in the iris below the pupil, whose form and extent varies in response to light conditions. This dark crescent is present in the eyes of all individuals of Turnix species at every life stage, a consistency that has not been previously observed for the iridal marks found in other avian groups. This consistency suggests that the crescent-shaped spot in buttonquails' eyes is a character subjected to natural selection, probably related to light regulation. Although there is no direct evidence for the function of the dark crescent in the iris of buttonquails, since these birds usually live under the shady cover of low and partly open scrubland, grassland and farmland, it can be argued that the dark crescent may be an adaptation to exposure to sudden changes in light when the birds are foraging between dark shade beneath full cover and sunny conditions in the open. This hypothesis seems to be supported by the adaptability of the size and form of the dark crescent, and thus its suggested functionality, in response to changes in light intensity. In summary, the dark crescent of the iris may be a sophisticated system for improved vision under certain light exposure. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Gutiérrez-Expósito (2018) Asymmetric iris heterochromia in birds: the dark crescent of buttonquails. J Ornithol https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-018-1606-4


https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10336-018-1606-4#citeas