World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Tracking identifies risk zones for leatherback turtle

The last large populations of the leatherback turtle are at risk because their migratory routes in the Atlantic Ocean clash with the locations of industrial fisheries, a new study shows.

Researchers used data from satellite transmitters attached to turtles to track their movement across the Atlantic Ocean. These movements were overlapped with information on high pressure fishing areas to identify where the turtles are most susceptible to entanglement and drowning.

The international study, jointly led by Dr Matthew Witt of the University of Exeter and Dr Sabrina Fossette of Swansea University, found that urgent international efforts are needed to protect the iconic species. Laurent Kelle, Aimée Leslie and Sebastian Verhage of WWF co-authored the report.

Between 1995 and 2010, a total of 106 leatherback turtles were tracked by satellite in the Atlantic and southwest Indian Oceans. The information was interpreted along with knowledge of longline fishing efforts, resulting in the identification of nine areas with the highest risk of bycatch.

Maps of the daily locations of the turtles revealed that Atlantic leatherbacks use both deep sea international waters (more than 200 nautical miles from land) and coastal national waters, either seasonally or year-round, in a complex pattern of habitat use.

More than four billion hooks – equivalent to 730,000 hooks per day – were set throughout the entire Atlantic Ocean by industrial fisheries between 1995 and 2010, the study shows.

“This study demonstrates the need to take action at a regional policy level,” said Aimée Leslie, global cetacean and marine turtle programme manager of WWF International. “The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) has a unique opportunity to use this data to assess the impacts of fisheries under their watch.”

The study results from the collaborative efforts of ten data providers that have tracked leatherback turtles in the Atlantic Ocean since 1995 through the Trans-Atlantic Leatherback Conservation Initiative (TALCIN), a WWF led initiative.

“The TALCIN initiative will continue to build on this work by reaching out to collaborate with organisations such as ICCAT to help assess the level of damage on Atlantic leatherbacks and other marine turtles,” said Leslie. “We will also work with a collaborative fisheries research fellow from the Virginia Marine Institute to find solutions to the threats these species face. The time to act is now.”

The article, ‘Pan-Atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries,’ is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>


Pacific: 5 West Papuan Prisoners Granted Clemency/media Bans Lifted

5 West Papuan prisoners granted clemency/media bans lifted for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua. More>>

UN Deplores Deadly Attack On ‘blue Helmets’ In DR Congo

Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo (in suit) tells Tanzanian peacekeepers he strongly admires them despite the tragic loss of 2 comrades as they continue to actively protect the population. ... More>>

ALSO:

Liberia On The Way To Being Declared ‘Ebola Free'

Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Mark Garten More>>

ALSO:

UN Labour Agency Set To Ramp Up Operations In Nepal

A man in Goddamchour Lalitpur trying to clear debris from the first floor of his house, as communities look for ways to start rebuilding their lives after the powerful earthquake devastated Nepal. Photo: UNDP Nepal/Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news