Decreasing Leatherback Mortality
Working with fishermen to increase the number of sea turtles safely released from fishing gear
We are working with fishermen to develop best practices for safe release of sea turtles from fishing gear.
Gillnets can often times be set for 4-24 hours, and a leatherback sea turtle is only able to hold its breath for 80 minutes. By decreasing set times and being more aware of disturbances to the net's buoys, fishermen have an increased likelihood of being able to release sea turtles alive.
Sea turtles are stranding along the coast of Ecuador with smashed skulls. They can be seen as a pest, as they rip large holes in fishermen's nets which can be expensive to fix. By communicating about the importance of sea turtles in healthy ocean ecosystems, we can decrease the mortality of sea turtles that do survive the interaction with the fishing gear.
Employing community members to assist with conservation efforts
We are collaborating with local communities by providing additional sources of income to compensate community research assistants for their conservation efforts! This relieves pressure on local endangered species populations and ocean resources.