News News

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
Average (0 Votes)

Latest News Latest News

Back

New "Silk Road" brings challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation

New "Silk Road" brings challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation

China is establishing an infrastructure and service network to connect the country, by land and sea, to different parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. This Chinese project would then represent not only an investment to foster international trade but also an opportunity for sustainable development leadership. According to Chinese government, this new "Silk Road" counts on the participation of least 65 countries, involve about two-thirds of the world's population and boost one-third of the global economy. This "Belt and Road" initiative (BRI) promises to greatly influence the future of global trade and promote the economic development around the world. However, it may also promote permanent environmental degradation. The implementation of BRI implies massive rail and road infrastructure expansion, new ports construction in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the creation of oil and gas pipelines to Russia, Kazakhstan and Myanmar. BRI's economic development corridors coincide with high environmental value areas and can therefore have significant impacts on biodiversity. A recent report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows that these corridors overlap with 1739 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and with the range of 265 threatened species, including 39 critically endangered. Abrupt changes in ecosystem quality and functionality due to pollution, the spread of invasive species, restrictions of animal movement, habitat loss and increased wildlife mortality, are at stake. In addition, raw materials and fossil fuels use, and increased oil and gas reserves exploitation constitute a scenario of an increasing dependency on fossil-fuel and high greenhouse gas emissions. All BRI-related projects should undergo Strategic Environmental and Social Assessments which provide, at an early stage of decision-making, holistic information on the costs and benefits of development plans, including those reflecting the impacts on biodiversity and human populations. The Belt and Road Initiative could be an opportunity for China to take a leading role in moving global development towards sustainability by requiring its overseas partners at least the same environmental quality China aspires for within its territory. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ascensão et al (2018): Environmental challenges for the Belt and Road Initiative. Nature Sustainability Doi: 10.1038/s41893-018-0059-3


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0059-3