Save Gulf Sea Turtles from Oil and Shrimp Trawls
Deadly Duo in the Gulf - Oil Spill and Shrimp Trawls
Our work in the Gulf of Mexico over the last two decades has helped the endangered Kemp's ridley populations rebound from just hundreds to many thousands of nesting females. The current draft Recovery Plan for Kemp's Ridleys should quickly establish critical habitat and must strengthen protections from deadly interactions with offshore oil and shrimp trawl nets.
Sea Turtles and Oil Don't Mix
Kemp's ridleys feed on crabs, clams, and oysters off the coast of Lousiana in a fragile ecosystem that is now covered by an oil slick. Juvenile sea turtles eat anythin that looks like food, including tar balls and plastic. Oil contamination will threaten all predators like the endangered Kemp's ridleys with toxic oil exposure while feeding.
Dead Turtles Likely Killed By Shrimp Trawls
The extreme fishing pressure by the shrimp fleet prior to the oil spill fishery closure was the likely cause of the wave of dead sea turtles on Gulf beaches in April. When sea turtles take repeated trips through the Turtle Excluder Devices, serious injury may result in death. Only reducing and eliminating fishing pressure in sensitive habitats will reduce deaths.
We have until the new deadline of July 1 to ask the Recovery Plan Committee to update the final Bi-National Kemp's Ridley Recovery Plan to include critical habitat for these endangered sea turtles and strong protections from the deadly duo of offshore oil and shrimp trawls.
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