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Trawls and Trash Represent One-Two Punch for Threatened Turtles [Slide Show]

Studies have identified plastic pollution and fishing practices as major threats to sea turtles for several years. This knowledge is, at last, beginning to translate into action

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A CHANCE TO CLEAN UP:

Plastic trash covers one of the most important leatherback nesting beaches in the Dominican Republic. Much of this trash has traveled long distances on ocean currents. If not removed from the beach, it is likely to end up back in the ocean, washed off the beach by high tides, winds or storms.....[ More ]

PLASTIC BEACH:

Plastic accumulates on this sea-turtle nesting beach in an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Fonseca, bordering El Salvador. The trash makes it difficult for females to successfully nest and for hatchlings to emerge from the nest and reach the ocean.....[ More ]

OCEANS OF PLASTIC:

Marc Ward of Sea Turtles Forever (SFT) removed this large snarl of fishing line and other plastics from the water on a part of the western Costa Rican coast, where STF recently documented more than 14,000 items of marine plastic debris, including more than 5,500 monofilament fishing line sections and balls.....[ More ]

PLASTIC DIET:

The trash shown was ingested by a juvenile green turtle found dead on the southern coast of Brazil. More than 260 marine species worldwide have been documented as ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic debris.....[ More ]

TURTLE ESCAPE HATCH:

The National Marine Fisheries Service requires commercial operators in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shrimp and summer flounder trawl fisheries to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs), which allow turtles to escape from trawl nets.....[ More ]

DEADLY FISHING GEAR:

This juvenile green turtle drowned in a beach gillnet in Valizas, Uruguay. Turtles are killed by active fishing and by lost or abandoned fishing gear, which persists in the ocean environment for long periods of time.....[ More ]

TURTLE BYCATCH:

This juvenile green sea turtle drowned as bycatch off the coast of Uruguay. While researchers and policy makers know how to reduce bycatch, legal requirements and compliance measures are lacking, says Duke University biologist Larry Crowder.....[ More ]

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