Sea turtle

300 Endangered Sea Turtles Found Dead in Mexico

Hundreds of endangered turtles were found dead in Mexico. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Brocken Inaglory

Mexican fishermen have found around 300 dead sea turtles in the southern state of Oaxaca.

Olive ridley turtles are known for laying their eggs on the shores of Mexican states during the months of May until September. The species is considered to be at a high risk of being extinct in the wild. Experts are still looking into the possible reason behind their death. Officials have already taken the turtles’ remains ashore and buried them in two pits.

Reports note that officials took the turtles’ remains ashore and buried them in two pits. Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA) – an organization linked to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment – said it will coordinate with Mexico’s National Commission of Aquaculture and Fishing CONAPESCA to let local fishermen know about the risks involved when using illegal nets.

News of the mass sea turtle death comes just days following the death of 113 other sea turtles – most of which were also from the Olive Ridley species – in the Mexican state of Chiapas. In this latter case, it’s not clear what killed the turtles. Experts, however, have found wounds consistent with those caused by nets and hooks.

Marine biologist Bryan Wallace has been studying sea turtles for nearly two decades and he said there is not a lot of information regarding the incident. But he did say that the turtles found in Oaxaca may have fallen to a “ghost net.” This phenomenon is a major problem around the world, as many animals are killed accidentally in the pursuit of other target species.

The Olive Ridley species got its name from the color of their shells, which is olive green.

“Their vulnerable status comes from the fact that they nest in a very small number of places, and therefore any disturbance to even one nest beach could have huge repercussions on the entire population,” a statement from the WWF said.



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