Mexico: Protect Critically Endangered Sea Turtles
North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles spend up to a decade feeding on small crabs in an area off the coast of Mexico's Baja California. Alarmingly, more than 1,000 North Pacific loggerheads die every year when they are accidentally caught up in fishermen's nets. The bycatch toll of loggerheads in Mexican waters is one of the highest in the world — and it is jeopardizing their survival.
Urge the President of Mexico to protect these sea turtles — while there is still time.
- President Peña Nieto of Mexico
I'm writing today to urge you to take immediate action to protect critically endangered loggerhead sea turtles in the waters off Baja California.
Most species of sea turtles on Earth are in danger of extinction. North Pacific loggerheads gather in large numbers in Mexican waters, a critical phase of this animal's life cycle. Sadly, more than 1,000 of these endangered sea turtles die every year as bycatch in the nets of Mexican fishing boats. The toll is disastrous -- nesting turtles have declined by as much as 90 percent in recent years.
Mexico leads the world in the number of Northern Pacific loggerheads who are killed as incidental bycatch during the fishery restrictions in the summer months. To give these reptiles a fighting chance of survival, we ask you to take two important steps:
- Establish a sea turtle sanctuary where the densest concentrations of loggerheads can feed in safety; and
- Institute fishing reforms that would require Mexican fishing boats to take measures to minimize turtle bycatch.
Your prompt attention to this urgent conservation matter is greatly appreciated.
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