A report in the journal Biological Conservation estimated that over the past 20 years, accidental sea turtle deaths have dropped from over 70,000 a year to around 4,600. Yay!
("Yay" for the drop, not the fact that turtles are still dying.)
It is believed that this HUGE decline is due to fishermen following government regulations like adding turtle excluders to their nets.
A turtle excluder is like a trap door in a fishing net through which turtles can escape.
The author of the report said:
“Our findings show that there are effective tools available for policy makers and fishing industries to reduce sea turtle bycatch, as long as they are implemented properly and consistently.”
The endangered turtle species are most threatened by being accidentally caught in fishing nets.
Some fishermen refuse to install the turtle excluders because they say that they allow shrimp to escape. Even though when installed properly they don’t let shrimp out.
These rules are hard to enforce because of the large numbers of shrimpers across many miles of Coast.
So if U know a shrimper, make sure to ask them if their turtle excluders are installed.
[Image via WENN.]