Turtle Times

The Turtle season is here! And all over Baja, since late August until early December is when the turtles lay their eggs on the same beaches where they were born.

The Sea of Cortez is home to five species of sea turtles – Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Green Turtle and Olive Ridley. All of them are in danger. Fortunately, a whole bunch of organizations have formed, helping and protecting them.

Several weeks ago Itravel-Cabo reported on the turtle conservation projects in Loreto National Park and Cabo where people join in with guarding turtle nests on the beaches and releasing the baby hatchings back into the waters of the sea of Cortez.

They also covered the  first Arrival at the Turtle Sanctuary on Escobilla Beach in Oaxaca. Where 30 000 Olive Ridley Turtles arrived to lay eggs.

Now the turtles they have done the same thing again. Except this time it is called the Second Arrival, and so far, 60 000 eggs have already been laid. And this amazing event is expected to continue for the next 3-5 days…

Great news, but these are also troubled times for turtles in BCS. Specifically around Comundu and Loreto, where dead turtles continue to appear despite a 4 month ban on fishing. (The turtles are often an unfortunate catch in the nets and longlines of fisherman as their feeding grounds clash with coastal fishing regions.)

It is believed that these continued deaths are proof that fishing is not the only reason for the mortality of the turtles. But some organizations take the contrary view. Arguing that the relatively few deaths now are, in fact, proof that the hundreds of previous deaths were caused primarily by the fishing nets….

The debate continues to cause controversy. And economic difficulties for the fishermen despite government compensation during the ban.

PROFENA will continue to monitor the number of deaths until the ban is over at the end of September. After this one working group will be formed – including environmental and government institutions, researchers, academics and locals – to collect all information possible for analysis.

Original Source: Itravel-Cabo /Photos: Internet

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