Friday, 29 November 2013

40% of by-catch turtles die after being cut free

Kevin Heath

Spanish long-line fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea are thought to catch about 10,000 turtles a year as by-catch. Fortunately 95% are still alive and after the line is cut they can swim free. New research though suggests that 40% of these released turtles will die within 3 months due to being caught.

The biggest issue is not the hook that gets caught in the turtles mouth or taken into the stomach. The major cause of death appears to be the length of line that is cut.

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