21/07/2011

Sea turtle dies of longline hook ingestion in southern Kyparissia Bay

More than twelve turtles have been found dead on the beaches of Trifylia in southern Kyparissia Bay this year. Most of them have no external injuries, which is an indication that the cause of death is drowning from entanglement in fishing nets or swallowing of plastics, or internal injuries and drowning from swallowing of a longline hook.

Celine Campana, who is a specialized vet and has volunteered for ARCHELON over many years, conducted a necropsy on this turtle to determine her cause of death. This was quickly revealed with the discovery of the large hook and the extensive damage it had caused to the turtleʼs oesophagus. After the stranding was recorded and the necropsy was complete, the Municipality of Trifylia proceeded with the hygienic burial of the unfortunate turtle.

Specially developed fishing tools that reduce their impact on sea turtles and other sea animals have been developed for both trawling and longline fishing. The spread of their use and the consistent monitoring of the application of fishing regulations in the areas where it is allowed are important long-term actions that require the coordination of the State as well as a close cooperation between countries across the Mediterranean.

ARCHELON operates a conservation project to monitor sea turtle reproduction activity and protect their nests in southern Kyparissia Bay since 1984, while dead and injured sea turtle strandings are recorded in collaboration with the Hellenic Coast Guard. Both data sets are also used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to monitor the status of the Mediterranean populations of loggerhead sea turtles. (N.V.)

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