Fisheries

The modernisation of fishing techniques and consequenct intensification of fishing efforts have not only increased the pressure on marine ecosystems but have also caused a rise in the number of sea turtles killed due to accidental fishing (bycatch).

 

In fact, the current biggest threat to juvenile and adult sea turtle populations is its accidental fishing. Frequently, turtles get caught in fishing nets. In these instances, they can die by drowning, as they are not able to come to the surface to breathe, or due to severe injuries caused by becoming entangled in nets or by swallowing fishing hooks.
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Another problem is the collision of sea turtles with boats or its propellers, causing significant damage to the turtles carapace and flippers, which may cause their death.

 

Shrimp fishing by trawling is widely recognised as one of the biggest threats to sea turtles. In order to deal with this problem, a device which helps the turtle escape (TED) can be incorporated in the trawling nets.
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Other commercial fishing techniques such as longlining, which targets pelagic species, as well as artisanal techniques such as drift nets are also big threats to the sea turtles.