Oct 24, 2008

Turtles in Peril

Sea Turtle

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From Treehugger, scores of sea turtles are casualties of the fishing industry in Mexico.

3,000 sea turtles have washed up dead on the shores of Baja, California in the last five years according to a report published by UC Santa Cruz last week.

The UC Santa Cruz report concluded that the North Pacific loggerhead turtles washing up in Baja are dying due to fishing activity. Turtles are accidentally caught in nets, hooks and other fishing gear. The Baja turtles are experiencing the highest stranding rates related to fishery activity in the world.

Sea turtles are in peril all over the planet, but the Mexican government has taken action to protect and create refuge for sea turtles. This is, no doubt, partly due to the fact that the turtle is integral to the mythology of indigenous Mexicans.

Gabriel Hoeffer, a 21-year-old Seri sporting denim and a bandana, talks about finding turtles tagged a thousand miles away. “It’s important that our traditional knowledge can help restore the turtles: They’re a very sacred animal to us.”

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