Endangered loggerhead sea turtles migrate thousands of miles across the entire Pacific ocean through deadly longlines and plastic pollution from their nesting grounds in Japan to feed on the abundance of red crabs along the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. Too often they are met at the end of this arduous journey by an invisible wall of death - hundreds of gillnets stretched across Baja's coast.
Last summer a horrific 600% increase in dead sea turtles was observed in Gulf of Ulloa along Baja's Pacific coast, an area famous for its friendly gray whales and ecotourism. A stunning 483 dead loggerheads were found just in July on one 40km beach, and scientists estimate over 2,000 loggerheads were killed last year in gillnets alone off of Baja's coast.
The bycatch rate of loggerheads in Mexican gillnets is one of the highest in the world — and it is jeopardizing their continued survival. This photo to the right of dead sea turtles was captured on-board a Baja gillnet vessel.
The President of Mexico must respond immediately to protect these sea turtles. Despite decades of cooperative conservation efforts by sea turtle and fisheries teams, the gillnet fleets continue unchecked. No fishery should be allowed to continue when it is killing this many endangered loggerhead sea turtles!
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