Sea turtles, which have been around for 200 million years, are facing certain doom. Human population booms along coastlines, as well as poaching and fishing are threatening species. Gill nets in particular endanger turtles when the animals get caught in them and drown. A team of conversationalists called Grupo Tortuga is working with local people in Baja California’s Magdelena Bay to help save loggerhead turtles.
Their goal is to reduce turtle deaths while at the same sustain incomes for people who depend on fishing. In addition to helping establish a base of eco-tourism in the area, they’ve also promoted a fishing net developed by University of Hawaii biologist John Wang and his team. The net is strung with LED lights that appear to attract more halibut while at the same deterring sea turtles from approaching. In a study conducted by Wang, he found that sea turtle by-catch was reduced by about 50 percent.
You can hear more about the project in this 5-minute Youtube video.
Credit: Lou Guarneri/Youtube Screen Grab