Millions of marine turtles have been killed over the past two decades through entrapment in fishing gear, according to a global survey.
Six of the seven sea turtle types are on the Red List of Threatened Species. Writing in the journal Conservation Letters, researchers advocate much greater use of gear safe for turtles.
These include circular hooks rather than the conventional J-shaped hooks on long fishing lines, and hatches that allow the reptiles to escape from trawls.
Turtles must come to the surface to breathe. When they are caught in a net or on a fishing hook, they cannot surface, and drown.
The raw material from the study came from records of bycatch - incidental catches in fishing gear - from different regions of the world.Over the period 1990-2008, records showed that more than 85,000 turtles were snared. However, those records covered a tiny proportion of the world's total fishing fleets.Debris in the oceans, such as plastic bags, can also cause drowning, while development in coastal regions can affect nesting and reproduction.Some turtles are still targeted for meat, and their shells used for tourist souvenirs. Please Help Implement New Laws For Use Of Safer Tools To be Used By All fishing Industries
Three types of fishing gear are identified in the survey - long-lines, gillnets and trawls.Modern long-line boats trail strings of hooks that can be 40km long, usually in search of high-value species such as tuna and marlin. Gillnets are usually stationary, and use mesh of a set size in an attempt to target certain species of fish.
We conservatively estimate that the true total is probably... in the millions of turtles taken as bycatch in the past two decades
Hu Jintao, President of People's Republic of China
Garcia Perez, President of Peru,
Yukio Hatoyama, Prime Minister of Japan
Barack Obama, President of United States
Sebastian Piñera Echeñique, President of Chile
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
Dmitri Anatolyevich Medvedev, President of Russia
Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India
Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand
Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland
Each Country Has A Significant Role In the Fishing Industry
A number of countries now require that shrimp boats must use nets fitted with TEDs. The circular long-line hooks also reduce bycatch of birds such as albatrosses. Shrimp trawls fitted with turtle excluder devices (TEDs) catch markedly fewer of the reptiles.
We the undersigned Urge you to Implement new laws in fishing Industries Regarding Equipment that will be Safer for large ocean dwelling life. We Thank you for Your Attention In This Matter