3,000 sea turtles have washed up dead on the shores of Baja, California in the last five years according to a report published by UC Santa Cruz last week. More below the fold.The UC Santa Cruz report concluded that the North Pacific loggerhead turtles washing up in Baja are dying due to fishing activity. Turtles are accidentally caught in nets, hooks and other fishing gear. The Baja turtles are experiencing the highest stranding rates related to fishery activity in the world.
The North Pacific loggerhead travels 7,000 miles from Japan to Baja's Big Sur to feed for as many as thirty years before returning to Japan. In the past 10 years, the number of female turtles nesting in Japan has dropped by fifty to eighty percent.
Local fishermen are working with the Mexican government to protect the turtles. Together they plan to create a refuge for them in a designated "hot spot" area where most are harmed.