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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- Gobernador de Baja California Sur
Lic. Marcos Alberto Covarrubias Villaseñor
- Secretario de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
Ing. Juan José Guerra Abud.
- Comisionado Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca de la Secretaría de Agricultura
Lic. Mario Gilberto Aguilar Sánchez
- Procurador Federal de la Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente
Lic. Francisco Alejandro Moreno Merino
- Comisionado Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas
MC. Luis Fueyo Mac Donald
- President of Mexico
Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto
I support immediate action to protect critically endangered loggerhead sea turtles from fleets of gillnet fishermen in the waters off Baja California. The catastrophic death of thousands of endangered loggerheads in gillnets can not be repeated every year. As President, I urge you to please take action to end the needless slaughter of turtles as bycatch in gillnet fisheries.
The North Pacific population of loggerhead sea turtles are in danger of extinction. Nesting loggerheads have declined by as much as 90 percent in recent years.They nest in Japan and after migrating across the entire Pacific Ocean to their Mexican nursery grounds where they need a safe haven to grow and mature for up to 20 years.
Scientists estimate that thousands of endangered sea turtles die every year as bycatch in the nets of Mexican fishing boats, specifically those fishing in Baja California Sur.
As President, please take immediate action to establish a marine protected area or sea turtle sanctuary where loggerheads can feed in safety in their critical feeding areas in Baja California Sur.
As President, please take action to phase out all unsustainable, indiscriminate fishing practices, like gillnets, that harm the long term public resources of Mexico.
Your prompt attention to this urgent matter is greatly appreciated.
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