"Sea turtles have roamed the oceans for close to 200 million years, surviving assaults that doomed the dinosaurs. Around the world different species now face threats ranging from coastal building to poaching and drowning in fish nets," writes Andrew Revkin at his Dot Earth blog in The New York Times.
It is that last threat, fishing nets, that is putting sea turtles at significant risk and is the subject of a new documentary produced by a Pace University students.Writing at the class blog, Pace University student Adam Yogel highlights an effort to address this problem:
The Center For Biological Diversity and Sea Turtle Restoration Project have petitioned the United States government to impose trade sanctions on Mexico for failing to abide by international sea turtle conservation agreements. Their core concern is described this way:
“Over the past decade, scientists estimate that Mexican gillnet and longline fisheries have killed over 2,000 endangered North Pacific Ocean loggerheads a year. Bycatch reached a record high last July, when a mass mortality event left 483 loggerheads stranded on just one stretch of beach – a 600 percent increase over previous years’ averages. This extraordinarily high level of bycatch cannot be sustained and may ultimately drive this endangered sea turtle population to extinction.” [news release]
The documentary is a good overview of the problem facing sea turtles, as well as some solutions being proposed. Watch the film above and follow @PaceBaja and #PaceBaja for a Twitter chat on the issue today at 4pm.