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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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Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries

Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries

Thousands of interactions occur between people and large carnivores with no human injuries or fatalities. However, the numbers tell that since the 1950s, six large carnivores (brown bears, black bears, polar bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes in North America, and brown and polar bears in Europe -Scandinavia and Spain-) have been involved in 700 attacks on humans in North America and Europe. The number of people engaging in outdoor leisure activities in areas inhabited by large carnivores has increased over the past few decades, which increases the probability of an encounter with a large carnivore. However, a key factor triggering the observed increase in the number of attacks is inappropriate human behaviour when sharing the landscape with large carnivores. The results of this study show that half of the attacks were the consequence of inappropriate human behaviours: an increasing number of people is frequently engaging in risk-enhancing behaviours that can increase the probability of a risky encounter and a potential attack. The most common observed human behaviours triggering an attack were leaving children unattended, walking an unleashed dog and jogging at dusk/night. Understanding the circumstances associated with large carnivore attacks is useful to reduce them. The examples provided by the numerous cases of children injured/killed while left unattended by their parents, attacks on people jogging/walking alone at twilight and during hunting, should make us reflect on our responsibilities. informacion[at] Penteriani et al (2016) Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries. Sci Rep 6: 20552 doi:10.1038/srep20552