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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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Potential threat to Eurasian griffon vultures in Spain from veterinary use of the drug diclofenac

Potential threat to Eurasian griffon vultures in Spain from veterinary use of the drug diclofenac

Spain holds > 95% of the European breeding population of the Eurasian griffon vulture. Vultures provide important ecosystem services in carcass removal and influence emissions of greenhouse gases. Despite the known toxicity of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac to this species and other vultures, in March 2013 the Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios (AEMPS) approved the use of two medicines containing diclofenac for veterinary use in horses, pigs and cattle in Spain. To assess the potential impact of medicated ungulate carcasses on Eurasian griffon vulture populations in Spain, information was gathered on the metabolism and elimination of diclofenac from medicated cattle and pigs. Secondly, probabilities of the death of a vulture per meal were calculated based upon experimental studies of diclofenac toxicity. Finally, annual numbers of vulture deaths expected to be caused by diclofenac were obtained by multiplying the death rates per meal by the estimated numbers of vulture meals taken from expected numbers of medicated carcasses suggested by AEMPS. Assuming that vultures feed on carcasses that were treated with diclofenac 8 h before the animal's death, the annual number of vulture deaths caused by diclofenac was estimated at 715–6389. Using a density-independent simulation model of a vulture population, the expected rate of decline of the Spanish population of Eurasian griffon vultures caused by these deaths is 0·9–7·7% per year. Due to the possibility of causing an important impact on vulture populations, findings justify a precautionary ban on the veterinary use of diclofenac in Spain and encourage the use of meloxicam, a vulture-safe alternative drug. A programme of monitoring of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug contamination of ungulate carcasses available to vultures and of moribund and dead obligate and facultative avian scavengers would be needed to be confident that a damaging level of contamination is not present. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Green et al (2016) Potential threat to Eurasian griffon vultures in Spain from veterinary use of the drug diclofenac. J Appl Ecol  53: 993–1003. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12663


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12663/full