Sea turtles migrate from their nesting grounds in Japan across the Pacific Ocean to the coast of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico.
They stay in Baja for decades as they grow and mature, feeding primarily on red crabs. But the environment there is turning increasingly hostile. The growth of the crab fishery has resulted in thousands of gillnets stretched across Baja’s Pacific coastal waters.
- To the loggerheads the nets are walls of death. Last summer saw a 600% increase in dead sea turtles in the Gulf of Ulloa on the Baja coast, including 483 loggerheads washed up dead on 40 km of shoreline in the month of July alone. Scientists estimate over 2,000 loggerheads were killed there last year in gillnets.
The enormous bycatch is jeopardizing the turtles’ survival.
Further south on Central American beaches, poaching of sea turtle eggs is having a similar effect. Studies of poaching at different Costa…
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