Hundreds Of Dead Loggerhead Turtles Wash Up On Same Coastline As Mass Sea Lion Beachings
Following the discovery of 137 dead sea lions earlier this month in northwestern Mexico, 351 loggerhead sea turtles have reportedly died on the same coastline.
Its thought that the reason for these mass deaths could be the net and line fishing off the Baja California coast.
The Mexican Centre for Environmental Law and the Centre for Biological Diversity say that these deaths underline the need to ban net and line fishing in the region.
Reports of the dead sea lions first emerged on September 2. They were scattered across a 120km stretch of coast.
California sea lions are a protected species in Mexico although they are not believed to be in danger of going extinct.
The animals are renowned for their intelligence and playfulness and are highly social. They move in packs up and down the Pacific coast, between Canada and the south of Mexico.
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Authorities had said that there were no obvious signs of injury from fishing nets or lines. However, tissue samples are being collected in order to understand the cause of death.
Hundreds of loggerhead turtles are dying every year
Loggerhead sea turtles are considered endangered in Mexico. And while officials claim their deaths are not caused by fishing, activists are disputing this. They also feel that authorities are not doing enough to protect the turtles.
There is supposed to currently be a temporary ban on commercial long-line and gill net fishing. Under these regulations, a maximum of 90 loggerhead turtles are allowed to perish.
But that number is far higher, with the 351 dead turtles found this year.
In 2019, 331 deceased loggerhead turtles were found washed up in the region. The year before that number was even worse: 459.
Loggerhead sea turtles usually weigh about 135 kg, but large specimens can reach over 400kg. They are just under one meter in length. They can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and also the Mediterranean Sea.
Read more: Yoshi The Sea Turtle Swam 22,000 Miles In 2 Years From Cape Town To Australia
IMAGE FEATURED: Pikist