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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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The role of ocean currents as a link between marine organisms and environmental variability

The role of ocean currents as a link between marine organisms and environmental variability

Eudyptula minor

A largely unresolved issue in ecology is choosing the right spatio-temporal scale to match biological processes and environment variables. Marine organisms are able to perceive environmental changes out of its habitat zone in a scale ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilometers. In this work, authors suggest that ocean currents may play a relevant role in determining the actual spatio-temporal scale under which reproductive timing in a marine predator, the Little penguin, has evolved to assure the necessary energy input to complete reproduction. Environmental dynamism should not be neglected, therefore, when investigating the linkage between animals' life-history traits and environmental variability. This newly proposed spatio-temporal scale may offer new insights on the impact on wild populations of processes causing altered environmental conditions. informacion[at] Afán et al. (2015) A novel spatio-temporal scale based on ocean currents unravels environmental drivers of reproductive timing in a marine predator. Proc R Soc B 282 (1810) 20150721  DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0721